Department of Transportation joins in on paid family leave policy

Patrick McKenna provides informational testimony which supports Libla's bill. (Travis Zimpfer/The Missouri Times)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Earlier this week, Gov. Eric Greitens signed a new executive order instituting a paid parental leave policy for employees working in the departments of the executive branch Greitens’ orders apply to.

The Department of Transportation is not included in those agencies, but Patrick McKenna, the director of the department, announced Thursday, that MoDOT would initiate the same policy and even apply it retroactively to March 13, to match the other executive offices.

“I appreciate this action by the Governor,” McKenna said in a statement. “We are pleased and proud to follow his lead. Our policy will be retroactive to March 13, to mirror the rest of the state’s executive branch agencies.”

Greitens’ executive order calls for primary caregivers to receive six weeks of paid leave, while secondary caregivers would receive three weeks after the birth or adoption of a minor child. State Auditor Nicole Galloway sent a letter to Greitens in February urging the governor to adopt new paid leave standards recommended by the Personnel Advisory Board.

“This is paid time off employees have earned through their time in the state workforce, but can’t use during the critical bonding period that exists in the weeks and months after a child is born or adopted,” Galloway wrote in her letter. “Families benefit when parents are involved in the care of a child and without these policy changes, many state employees will remain prohibited from using their own paid leave to take time off to bond with and care for a new addition to their families.”

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