Gov. Edwards Announces Paid Parental Leave for All State Employees

November 9, 2023

BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards joined the Louisiana State Civil Service, Woman’s Hospital, and local elected officials to announce paid parental leave for all Louisiana state employees. The Governor’s Executive Order, in combination with the new Civil Service rule, provides six weeks of 100% paid parental leave for classified and unclassified state employees.

“I’m thrilled to announce the adoption of paid parental leave for the nearly 70,000 state employees in Louisiana,” said Gov. Edwards. “Paid parental leave means better outcomes for every family member, allowing parents to bond with their child without the financial stress of sacrificing their income, savings or paid sick days. By joining the 32 other states with paid parental leave policies, we are positioning ourselves to both attract and retain top talent in state. I believe this policy is pro-life, and I hope to see the legislature adopt it statewide in the near future. I’d like to thank State Civil Service, Representative Sam Jenkins, and Jackson Wright in my office for their hard work that made this possible.”

“This is a great day for Louisiana and the tens of thousands of state employees who will be covered by this policy,” said Rep. Sam Jenkins. “The policy being implemented today will provide a very important benefit to state employees, and I appreciate the state taking the lead. With it, we are sending a signal to young families that we want to attract and retain them in Louisiana.”

“We know that paid parental leave is a good thing for our state government, and that it’s going to be even better for the recruitment and retention of employees,” said State Civil Service Director Byron Decoteau. “This policy allows parents to focus on bonding with their child, strengthening and building their family unit without the financial worries that often come with unpaid leave.“

State employees who are legal, adoptive, or foster parents are entitled to a parental leave benefit of 6 weeks at 100% pay within 12 weeks of a birth or placement for adoption or foster care to promote bonding with a new child. Employees become eligible for the benefit after working for the state for at least one year, which mirrors eligibility for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The benefit becomes effective January 1, 2024.