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Gov. Henry McMaster Signs Bipartisan Law Providing State Employees with Paid Family Leave

August 25, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster was joined today by a bipartisan group of members of the General Assembly for a ceremonial bill signing of S. 11, which provides state employees with up to 6 weeks of paid family leave for the birth of a child, adoption of a child and for fostering a child. 

"With the signing of this bill, we strengthen our families, our government, and our economy," said Governor Henry McMaster. "This legislation gives us the ability to better serve South Carolinians by helping us recruit and retain the best and brightest to serve in state government. Most importantly, it strengthens South Carolina's families - and with stronger families comes a stronger South Carolina." 

Governor McMaster called for the General Assembly to pass paid family leave during a March 2020 press conference. 

“This is a monumental step for so many South Carolina families,” said Senator Katrina Shealy. "We all know the first months after birth are critical for establishing a firm foundation that will impact maternal and newborn health for decades to come, and paid family leave is so important to making that reality for so many families." 

Birth of a child

  • Provides 6 weeks of paid leave for the employee who gives birth
  • Provides 2 weeks of paid leave for the employee who does not give birth but is a new parent 

Adoption of a child

  • Provides 6 weeks of paid leave for state employees who are the primary caregivers of the child
  • Provides 2 weeks of paid leave for the employee who is not primarily responsible for the care of the child

Fostering a child

  • Provides 2 weeks of leave for employees who foster

Among many other benefits to the legislation, Representative Beth Bernstein touted the positive impact to children’s education and the state’s economy: “Our future workforce is well-nurtured and better equipped because of this legislation. Positive, consistent relationships during a child’s early years yield confident individuals who are better equipped for success in school and in life, paving the way for a higher quality workforce and strong economic growth.”

The governor formally signed the legislation into law on May 13, 2022, and it goes into effect on October 1, 2022.