When I had my kids, I took two weeks off of work with my son and only a week off of work with my daughter. The only time I could take was the vacation time I had accrued and even with that I felt fearful of losing my job by taking the time off. It should never be that way. Now it isn't going to be that way for state employees thanks to Governor Brad Little signing into law the Families First Act which mandates that eligible state employees get eight weeks of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. 

Governor Little said,

Idaho is a state that encourages strong families as the bed rock of our society. Parents and children need as much time together as possible in the weeks following a birth or adoption. Children benefit, parents benefit, and the state benefits when we support a culture that balances the demands of work and the demands of family.

According to an article on KTVB, the new policy will take effect July 1. 2020. There are 25,000 eligible workers in the executive branch of the state. The policy will apply to both parents.

Before this new law, state employees could take up to twelve weeks of leave but they were only paid for the time they had for vacation. This was much like my experience and I think it is a common standard among companies, but truthfully it's a police that I think needs to change within a lot of companies.

I regret not taking that time for my children and for myself, but when you have bills to pay and your household depends on your income, it doesn't make the choice easy. Luckily, these parents won't have to make that difficult decision.