- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - The state treasurer on Thursday announced that she will begin offering up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for about 175 eligible employees in her office, becoming the latest Massachusetts leader to expand parental benefits for workers.

Deb Goldberg said she wants to encourage a healthy work and life balance. The policy, which begins immediately, applies to both men and women who have been employed for at least six months, including parents who adopt or raise foster children, Goldberg said.

Employees in the treasurer’s office are currently allowed to take up to 10 paid days for birth, adoption or care of a foster child. After the 10 days are exhausted they must use sick or vacation time to have additional paid time off.

Treasury employees also will continue to be able to take up to a total of 26 weeks of unpaid parental leave.

“We are creating a culture that treats families with the dignity and respect they deserve,” Goldberg said in a statement. “These are critical steps to building a more committed and more productive workforce.”

Goldberg’s announcement follows recent decisions by state Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to offer up to six weeks of paid parental leave for new parents to their employees.

Walsh said the new ordinance applies to anyone who has worked for the city for at least one year. Healey’s policy also includes parents who adopt or participate in foster care.

“It’s important to me that the attorney general’s office be a model employer,” Healey said last month during an address to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. “How can I ask businesses to do something that we’re not prepared to do ourselves?”

Goldberg said she hopes other government agencies and private employers across the state also consider expanding paid parental leave to employees.

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