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Kansas Supreme Court establishes policy to give employees paid parental leave

The Kansas Supreme Court announced it has established policy to give judicial branch employees six weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child. "To effectively compete for employees, the judicial branch must offer benefits and pay comparable to what is currently available on the job market," said Chief Justice Lawton Nuss. "This leave policy is an action we can take to remain competitive while we continue to seek funding that allows us to pay our employees at market rates." The new Supreme Court policy, which is defined in Administrative Order 299, allows judicial branch employees to receive up to six weeks of paid parental leave following the birth of the employee's child or the placement of a child for adoption. The leave must be taken in the first 12 weeks immediately following the child's birth or placement. The judicial branch has about 1,600 employees who work as court administrators, court services officers, court reporters, clerks, and in other administrative and clerical positions. According to a salary study conducted by the National Center for State Courts, Kansas judicial branch employees are paid below market rates, ranging from a few percentage points to as much as 18 percent below market. The Supreme Court's latest biannual budget request, submitted in September, asks for funding to bring employee compensation rates to market levels.

Mary Shultz