6 weeks of paid parental leave coming soon in South Carolina
Starting in October, state employees in South Carolina are entitled to six weeks of parental leave after giving birth or adopting children.
Surrounded by Republican and Democratic lawmakers who worked together to pass the bill, Republican Gov. Henry McMaster held a signing ceremony Thursday for the law he put his signature to back in May.
The law provides the six weeks of leave at full salary for the primary parent or caretaker of a baby and two weeks for the other parent for both natural births and adoptions. It also provides two weeks paid leave for foster parents who take in a new child.
“Mamas and daddies need to be with their babies as much as they can,” McMaster said.
State agencies are being told about the leave and the rules this week, said Karen Wingo, state human resources director at the Department of Administration.
The new law has a special place in her heart because Wingo’s children, now 3 and 5, were born while she worked for the state and she said she did “everything from kissed boo boos and wiped runny noses, dried tears, given snacks, attempted to entertain children” while working.
“One time my 2-year-old decided it was a good time to yell into the phone while I was briefing the governor,” Wingo said. “I know how hard it can be to be a working parent.”