Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Councilwoman moves to implement paid parental leave for county employees

At the April 18 Richland County Council meeting, Councilwoman Jesica Mackey (District 9) made a motion that would provide all county employees with six weeks of paid parental leave, and it was unanimously approved by council.

The proposed plan would resemble the Paid Parental Leave program signed into law by Governor Henry McMaster last year. The intent of the motion is to continue to implement policies that meet the needs of county employees and promote employee retention and recruitment. The new benefit will be available to all county employees on January 1, 2024.

“Paid Parental Leave is an essential benefit that will support the working families of Richland County and prevent our county employees from choosing between their work and home life,” said Mackey. “This is vital to the health of our workforce and will help the county retain the best and brightest. The first six weeks of a child’s life are so crucial, and families deserve to have the opportunity to stay home and care for their new addition.”

As a working mom, Mackey understands the responsibilities that come with raising and nurturing young children. Mackey is also a board member of South Carolina First Steps and EdVenture Children’s Museum as well as a member of the Early Childhood Advisory Council, making her a champion for working parents with children. Mackey believes early investments in a child’s well-being promotes the positive experiences necessary for optimal growth and development.

Mackey serves as vice chair and is the youngest African-American woman to be elected to Richland County Council. Mackey chairs the Strategic Planning Committee, the Administration and Finance Committee, and the Community Impact Grants Committee. Mackey represents the residents of Richland County District 9, which includes Northeast Columbia and the Pontiac community.

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