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Gov. Lee to pursue paid family leave through legislation not executive order

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Posted at 4:48 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 17:49:01-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Governor Bill Lee announced that he will work to extend paid family leave through legislation rather than an executive order.

In January, Gov. Lee is introduced up to 12 weeks of annual paid family leave for state workers. It included those experiencing a variety of life events, including parental leave for the birth of a child, adoption or foster care, and care for a sick family member.

At the time, more than 38,000 state workers could be eligible once they meet the criteria, according to the Department of Human Resources.

However, on Wednesday, the governor announced he would be pursuing the planned FMLA benefit through legislation, saying it would streamline the process of multiple state employee pools and make the benefit more permanent.

“After consultation with legislative leaders, we feel the best course of action is to implement paid family leave via legislation rather than executive order," said Gov. Lee in a statement. "We will propose legislation that is retroactive to March 1, 2020, so that no state employee is negatively impacted by this change in course. An email from Commissioner Juan Williams is forthcoming to state employees to address any questions that may arise.”