Michigan Governor Celebrates 2 Years of Paid Family Leave

Michigan Governor Whitmer Celebrates Two Years of State Paid Family Leave

Governor urges further legislative action to extend benefit to every Michigander

LANSING, MI (STL.News) Governor Gretchen Whitmer celebrated the success of the State of Michigan’s paid family leave policy, which she announced in February 2020.  Since implementation, nearly 2,000 civil servants have used paid family leave.  Governor Whitmer is committed to expanding paid family leave to every parent in Michigan and is renewing her call for the legislature to make paid leave a reality for all parents in the state.

“Paid family leave is critical to helping new parents bond with their babies and ensures parents do not have to choose between a paycheck and caring for their loved one.  Over two years ago, I announced that the State of Michigan would lead by example and extend up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for public servants.  This was a commonsense, family-first priority for us to enact.  And of course, it is a first step, and I urge the legislature to take action to make paid leave a reality for parents across Michigan,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.  “As a mom, I know firsthand how important it is to have time with your new baby—parents should be able to take that time when they need it the most without having to worry about their paycheck.  We should work together to extend this family-friendly policy to every Michigander.”

“We know how important it is for parents to be present after welcoming a new child into their family,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II.  “The bonds parents and children form in the first few weeks have major benefits down the road.  I was grateful to be able to take leave when we welcomed my daughter Ruby in 2019, and I am proud that our administration has taken the lead on ensuring parents have the time to love, nurture, and support their children.  Paid family leave is an investment in our families and our future, and I hope employers across Michigan work to enact similar practices.”

“For the members of SEIU Local 517M, access to paid parental leave has been life changing,” said Jeremy Tripp, Executive Director, SEIU Local 517M which represents roughly 4,000 state employees in the Scientific & Engineering, Human Services Support and Technical Units of State Government.  “With the provisions enacted by Governor Whitmer, both men and women can focus on spending time with their children, instead of worrying about insufficient leave banks or not being there when it matters most to their family.  We commend the Governor for leading on this issue!”

Paid Family Leave Background

In February 2020, Governor Whitmer announced she would be extending 12 weeks of paid family leave to all 46,707 State of Michigan employees.  As of October 1, 2020, every civil servant is eligible to take 12 weeks of paid family leave upon the birth or adoption of a child.

To date, 1,958 State of Michigan employees have utilized this benefit, including 1,043 dads and 915 moms.  That amounts to over 800,000 hours that new parents have spent with their newborn babies, forming lifelong bonds.