Missouri State Auditor Nichole Galloway proposed changes to family leave policies for state executive branch employees.
The policies were designed to provide additional flexibility to parents by allowing employees to use earned sick leave for parental bonding after the birth or adoption of a child. The policies also expand parental leave allowances for parents in cases where both parents are state employees.
Current policies allow employees to use accrued vacation time for parental bonding. Sick leave is limited to pregnancy, childbirth and recovery from childbirth, but not for parental bonding.
If the employee has no vacation leave, or once that leave is exhausted, the employee may take unpaid time off for parental bonding up to a combined total of 12 weeks of leave after the birth or adoption of a child.
The maximum amount of protected time off would remain 12 weeks, but employees could use both vacation and sick leave for parental bonding, which could be spread out over 12 months.
The state currently allows 12 weeks of protected leave, which must be split between both parents. The new policy would allow 12 weeks to each parent.
Unlike the executive branch workforce, which is under the control of the governor's office, other statewide office holders have the authority to approve their own internal personnel policies.
Galloway also highlighted a recent change to allow her staff to use sick leave or shared leave in situations involving domestic violence.