Kansas judicial branch grants employees paid parental leave

photo by: Associated Press

Justices return from recess during hearings before the Kansas Supreme Court in Topeka, Kan., Thursday, May 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

TOPEKA — The Kansas court system’s employees will now receive six weeks of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child.

The Kansas Supreme Court issued an administrative order Friday covering the 1,600 judicial branch workers under its supervision.

The court’s order came a month after Gov. Jeff Colyer issued an executive order establishing a similar policy for more than 17,000 employees in executive branch agencies. The Supreme Court sets policy for the judicial branch.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss said providing paid family leave is a step toward keeping the judicial branch competitive with private companies in recruiting employees.

Employees on family leave will receive their full pay. The order applies to any employee who had or adopted a child after Oct. 5.

When Colyer established paid parental leave for his office’s employees in November, he urged other government branches and state agencies to do the same.

“I want state employees to have the same type of benefits that you see in private businesses across our state and nation; and I encourage all other statewide elected officials and agencies to adopt comparable policies for their employees,” Colyer said at the time.

The Kansas Board of Regents is currently in the process of gathering information about a paid parental leave policy for state university employees, and a recommendation could be presented at the board’s February meeting, the Regents general counsel said in December.

University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod expressed support for a paid parental leave policy at the Regents’ December meeting. Currently, those on maternity or paternity leave at KU must use vacation or sick leave, or just take unpaid time off.


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