DOVER – Gov. John Carney joined members of the General Assembly on Tuesday to call for passage of legislation that would offer 12 weeks of paid parental leave to state workers. The bill, House Bill 3, would allow state workers to care for their families without losing wages, and would make Delaware just the sixth state to offer the benefit to public workers.
Under the legislation, full-time state employees, including teachers, would be eligible for 12 weeks of paid maternity or paternity leave after one year of employment. New parents would be eligible for leave for up to one year after the birth of a child, or the adoption of a child under the age of six.
Governor Carney hosted Tuesday’s announcement in his Legislative Hall office as lawmakers returned to Dover for the second half of the 149th General Assembly.
“Delaware can and should lead on this issue,” said Carney. “This legislation is about supporting our state workers – and creating a workplace that values family. Workers deserve time to spend with their families when their children are born, and this benefit will help us attract and keep good employees.”
The United States is one of only nine countries in the world – and the only industrialized nation – that does not offer paid maternity leave, and one of only a handful of high-wealth nations that does not offer paid paternity or parental leave.
Passage of House Bill 3 would make Delaware the sixth state to offer paid parental leave for state workers. Delaware would join Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Virginia, and Washington D.C. in extending the benefit to public workers.