Governor Lee orders new family medical leave policy for state workers

Tennessee News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Fully paid time off under the Family Medical Leave Act will soon be a reality for Tennessee state employees.

The move comes with an executive order from Governor Bill Lee that could affect up to 38,000 workers in state government beginning March 1 of this year.

“This comes at no cost to the state, but great benefit for the state,” proclaimed Governor Lee before reporters.

The Family Medical Leave Act or FMLA covers such things as:
– birth or adoption of a child
– care for a seriously ill spouse, parent or child
– a serious health condition where a worker can’t perform their job

“This is beyond parental leave,” said Commissioner Juan Williams of Tennessee Department of Human Resources. “This is anything that falls under FMLA, so anyone who meets the criteria for that.”

The governor and legislative leaders say the new family medical leave policy is aimed at keeping and attracting good state workers.

“As the State of Tennessee, we are choosing to go forward in this for state employees to gain a competitive advantage,” said House Republican Majority Leader William Lamberth.

Tennessee legislative Democrats say fully paid family medical leave provisions should not just be for state employees.

Wednesday, Rep. Gloria Johnson plans to introduce a bill to create a statewide program in the private sector for workers under the FMLA provisions.

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