State workers for executive branch agencies are eligible for paid parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child. Governor Greitens (R) has signed an executive order granting six weeks off for primary caregivers, and three weeks off for secondary caregivers. He made the announcement by video on Facebook with Sheena, Missouri’s first lady, by his side.

Missouri governor orders paid parental leave to executive branch workers

“Strong families are really important to Sheena and I and they’re important to so many of you,” said Greitens.

In a written statement, Greitens also said he and the first lady are working parents who know how hard it is to balance work and parenting.

“We need to do everything in our power to support children and families in this state—and that begins on day one of their arrival in the home. Before today, a state employee who gave birth to or adopted a child would have to use sick time, vacation time, or take unpaid leave. And yet, everything we know about that crucial period after a child arrives in the home argues for giving parents time with their new children,” said Greitens. “Parents use that time to nurture and bond with the newest member of the family. Research proves that parental leave time is linked to better infant health and development, as well as employee retention and productivity. We believe that this policy will help new parents gain some stability during a happy and hectic time.”

Greitens encourages the legislative and judicial branches to enact similar measures. Missouri policy for all other state workers allows for unpaid parental leave.