Milwaukee County Board approves paid parental leave program for employees

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee County employees will now be eligible to receive paid parental leave. Milwaukee County Board members voted unanimously Thursday, March 24, to create the program.

"This policy is an investment in the health and happiness of our employees. Paid parental leave fosters an employment opportunity of equity, support and care that will make Milwaukee County a better employer and a leader in employee benefits," Milwaukee County Board Supervisor Liz Sumner said.

Employees must meet prescribed qualifications to be eligible. But this allows up to eight weeks of paid parental leave for county employees who work 20 or more hours a week. Those working 40 hours or more can qualify for up to 320 hours of leave time.

This will impact the county's more than 4,000 employees.

The program applies to family events happening on or after June 6 of this year.

"As a practicing OB-GYN, I cannot tell you how many times I see patients who need extra time off," Milwaukee County Board Supervisor Sheldon Wasserman said. "For those who need to have time off, and especially for young families with a special needs child, it really is critical that they are at home taking care of the needs of their child."

Wasserman also called the program "good legislation that will make a difference."

Board members say this aligns with the county's mission to become the healthiest county in the state.

The city of Milwaukee passed its own paid parental leave program last month.

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