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Louisiana Supreme Court will ‘review’ parental leave policy for employees

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Louisiana Supreme Court will ‘review’ parental leave policy for employees

Dec 08, 2023 | 12:45 pm ET
By Julie O'Donoghue
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Louisiana Supreme Court will ‘review’ parental leave policy for employees
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The Louisiana Supreme Court hasn’t decided whether to implement Gov. John Bel Edwards’ parental leave policy for its own employees yet.

“The Justices are aware of Gov. Edwards’ recent executive order on paid parental leave and will be reviewing it,” spokeswoman Trina Vincent said in an email. 

Edwards signed paperwork last month extending six weeks of parental leave for a birth, adoption or foster child placement to 70,000 state workers, but the benefit doesn’t apply to court employees. 

The governor doesn’t have the authority to offer additional leave to people who work for the state’s legislative and judicial branches. Like the supreme court, the legislature’s leaders also haven’t said whether they will offer parental leave to their workers yet.

Currently, most state workers are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off when they become new parents. Many use paid vacation and sick days to cover the absence. 

Edwards’ new policy kicks in for state executive branch workers Jan. 1.

Even if the Supreme Court adopts Edwards’ parental leave benefit, it won’t apply to state district and appellate courts. Vincent said each court system must individually adopt their own policy.

Gov.-elect Jeff Landry also hasn’t committed to keeping Edwards’ parental leave policy in place for the executive branch.  

Landry could easily rescind parental leave for about half of the 70,000 state workers who qualify once he becomes governor Jan. 8, though it would be difficult for him to scuttle it entirely. 

The civil service commission, which helped Edwards implement the parental leave policy, would have to agree to reverse it for classified workers in the executive branch. Landry can’t undo the benefit for them unilaterally.