Hundreds of Missouri state government employees have taken advantage of paid parental leave since Republican Gov. Eric Greitens signed an order that provides the benefit to some executive branch employees so they can bond with a newborn or adopted child.
St. Louis Public Radio asked 12 state agencies how many employees had applied for paid leave. Information provided by those departments as of Friday afternoon showed that at least 580 state employees had applied.
The order issued in March giving up to six weeks of additional paid leave to primary caregivers and three weeks to secondary caregivers applies to workers in the governor's office and all agencies controlled by one of his appointees. The transportation department also is offering the benefit, although it's not controlled by the governor.