South Carolina state employees could soon join federal employees in receiving paid family leave according to The State.

Pending legislation (H.5137 and S.997) would give state government employees 12 weeks of paid family leave after the birth or adoption of a child. If this legislation passes, South Carolina would join less than a dozen states to offer this benefit.

The legislation has received support from both sides of the political aisle and Governor Henry McMaster gathered with lawmakers last week to call for the bills’ passage, stating, “We don’t want [employees] to quit work and have to go home and take care of a child.”

This legislation would not affect private businesses. Some employers are subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which requires 12 weeks of job-protected leave, but that leave is unpaid. Many workers attempt to use PTO, vacation or short-term disability to supplement their pay while out.

In an effort to attract and retain talent, many private businesses have gone above and beyond the requirements of the FMLA by offering 12 weeks or more of paid leave and extending benefits to new fathers.