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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Announces New Maternity Leave Donation Program for State Teammates

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Luke Robson, 402-471-1967


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that the State of Nebraska is expanding maternity leave benefits for teammates across state government.


“The weeks and months following the birth of a child are some of the most important for the development of newborn children and the dearest to new mothers,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Strong families are the foundation of the Good Life.  We want our teammates at the State of Nebraska to have the flexibility they need to be with their newborn children following their birth.  This program will give new mothers additional flexibility to invest their time, love, and care in their newborn child.”


Right now, teammates with the State of Nebraska are entitled to 12 weeks of job protection leave under the Family and Medical and Leave Act (FMLA), but new mothers need to use their own paid time off to receive compensation while on leave.  This is particularly challenging for women who are new to state government, and may not have accumulated sufficient vacation or sick time to cover the duration of their leave. 


Effective January 8, 2018, the State of Nebraska will offer a maternity leave donation program to new and expecting mothers on family medical leave who have exhausted their sick time accrual.  With agency director approval, expecting mothers or new mothers can receive donated vacation and compensatory time from their co-workers, within their own agency, to augment their own paid time off while on family medical leave.  This new initiative is an expansion of the state’s existing catastrophic leave donation program.  New mothers will be able to use the new program in conjunction with their existing FMLA benefits.  


Expecting mothers who wish to benefit from the new program should contact their agency HR partner, who will then work on their behalf to help solicit donations.


“This exciting offering for new and expecting mothers will make it easier for women to manage the needs of family and continue their careers in state government,” said State Personnel Director Margie Bell.


The new program will not impose new costs on the State of Nebraska, because it relies on the donations of existing vacation and compensatory time which have already been earned by state teammates.