Loudoun Co. to study, develop family leave options for county employees

WASHINGTON — Loudoun County, Virginia, is looking into potentially offering its employees paid family leave.

Supervisor Ron Meyer, who represents the Broad Run district, introduced an initiative on Tuesday which the county board of supervisors passed unanimously 9-0.

It directs the county to study and develop family leave options and to research their costs.

“It’s a matter of what type of options we want to look at,” Meyer said. “Do we want family leave or do we just want maternity leave at first? Those are the options we’re studying.”

Meyer said that depending on the options, the family leave policy might not cost the county very much at all.

The supervisors said they begin working on the county’s new budget in January.

By that time they should have a good idea of the fiscal impact of the family leave policy, Meyer said.

Meyer said not only is it the right thing to do to offer employees paid family leave but it could also make the county more competitive when it comes to attracting and keeping top-notch employees.

“It costs us a ton of money to train people,” he said. “So if we can do anything to help retain employees without actually having to cost us more, it could be a huge benefit to us.”

The county does not currently have a family leave policy. County workers can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act.

“After talking to a lot of moms who work for the county, it became apparent that we needed a family leave policy and we haven’t had one,” Meyer said.

Meyer believes this is a big step forward and feels that paid family leave will become policy in a matter of time.

The county is also doing a broader study looking at other jurisdictions and how much they pay their employees. He said the study became necessary since Loudoun County has been losing employees to neighboring counties because the other counties pay a lot more.

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