Virginia Tech offers paid parental leave benefit

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Virginia Tech approved an eight-week paid parental leave benefit for both mothers and fathers working at the college, during a quarterly meeting last week.

The university’s new parental leave is offered to more than 7,000 salaried employees in the six months following the arrival of a new child through birth, adoption or foster placement, and will be paid at 100% of the employee’s regular salary. The new benefit went into effect June 25.

“Virginia Tech had been working to implement a similar enhancement to our many family-friendly benefits for university faculty,” Jack Finney, vice provost of faculty affairs, at Virginia Tech says in a statement. “By offering this benefit in addition to — not in lieu of — already available leave options, we further our commitment to employees to help them grow, both professionally and personally.”

The university also offers family sick leave, military leave and annual leave benefits for full-time staff and faculty.

Virginia Tech’s new policy is the result of an executive action, signed by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in late June, which gave state employees eight weeks of parental leave following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child, paid at 100% of the employee’s salary. Virginia is one of several states that offer paid family leave to state employees. Delaware began offering paid paternity and maternity leave in July, joining California, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

“Paid parental leave and quality childcare options are critical to the health and wellbeing of children and their parents,” Northam said in a statement about the states updated policy. “Through these actions we are hoping to set an example for other government and private sector employers and send a message to our fellow Virginians and people across the country about what kind of state we are working to build.”

Virginia Tech joins a growing number of universities offering paid parental leave. Austin Peay State University says it will offer six weeks of leave for mothers and fathers starting in January, and the University of Colorado at Boulder announced in June that it would also update its policy to six weeks. Last July, Indiana University began offering six weeks of leave to new parents.

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