As one of his first moves as the new Speaker of Virginia’s House of Delegates, Republican Kirk Cox granted paid family leave to employees of the House. At the same time, the broader push for paid leave is making limited headway.
As Speaker of the House, Kirk Cox is an employer -- of sorts. Using that power, he granted the 30 employees of the House of Delegates 12 weeks paid leave when they adopt or have a child.
“We need to be very family friendly. A lot of women cannot stay in the workplace because they’re not family leave benefits,” said Cox.
Cox supports a bill, making its way through committee, that would provide that same benefit to all state employees. Currently they have to use accrued personal time or short-term disability.
But, Cox added during an interview, it’s not the state’s role to require private employers do the same.
“Philosophically, that’s their decision, but I would encourage them to do that,” he said.
Many Democrats say encouragement is not enough. But their proposal to require paid family leave for private employers has already died.