The State of Nebraska has introduced a new maternity leave donation programme to enable state employees to donate paid holiday days to colleagues taking family medical leave.
The new maternity leave donation programme, effective from 8 January 2018, is applicable for new or expectant mothers, and is designed to help state employees who may not have accumulated sufficient paid holiday or sick days to cover the entire duration of their unpaid family leave period.
Under the new programme, employees will be able to contribute their accrued holiday or compensation time to eligible colleagues working within the same agency department, subject to agency director approval. This will enable new or expectant mothers who are taking family medical leave but have exhausted their own paid sick leave quota to still receive pay during their time off.
State employees can currently receive up to 12 weeks of statutory, unpaid, job protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), however employees need to use their own accrued annual leave in order to receive pay while away from work.
The maternity leave donation programme can be used in conjunction with FMLA benefits. The programme is an expansion of the state’s existing catastrophe leave donation programme, which follows a similar format.
The new benefit will not incur additional costs on the state because it is based on the donations of existing annual leave and compensatory time that has already been earned.
Governor Pete Ricketts, governor of Nebraska, said: “The weeks and months following the birth of a child are some of the most important for the development of newborn children and the dearest to new mothers. Strong families are the foundation of the good life. We want our [employees] at the state of Nebraska to have the flexibility they need to be with their newborn children following their birth. This programme will give new mothers additional flexibility to invest their time, love and care in their newborn child.”
Margie Bell, state personnel director for Nebraska, added: “This exciting offering for new and expecting mothers will make it easier for women to manage the needs of family and continue their careers in state government.”