Florence One Schools becomes the first SC school district to offer paid parental leave

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Florence One Schools has taken a historic step to help its employees.

Full-time school district employees now get paid parental leave. The new leave policy includes biological, foster and adoptive parents.

It comes after a unanimous vote at the board meeting in July.

Superintendent Richard O’Malley first introduced the policy in June, saying not having paid parental leave is barbaric.

Under the new policy, full-time employees who give birth are entitled to six weeks of paid parental leave following the birth of the child. The leave would be paid at 100% of the employee’s base salary.

O’Malley hopes this will not only help recruit but also retain good employees.

“We talk a lot about the things our district is doing to attract and retain not only teachers, but employees from across the district,” O’Malley said. “I think it shows that we care about our employees and their families. We want our employees to be able to be parents and not have to worry about how they will pay their bills. »

Any employee who does not give birth but who is a co-parent is also entitled to two weeks of paid leave.

Employees who adopt or foster a child under 18 are also entitled to parental leave.

“I don’t find it to be very progressive in 2022,” O’Malley said. “I think that’s something we needed to do. The governor signed a bill to provide state employees with paid maternity leave for six weeks, followed by two weeks for paid paternal leave and they’ve somehow excluded teachers from state employee status. I don’t think that sends the right message for what we’re trying to do in our state. In schools Florence 1, we value families.

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