Cherokee Nation Expands Family Leave Benefits To Include Non-Traditional Families

The Cherokee Nation is making changes to make it easier for new parents to take time off from work.

Thursday, August 18th 2022, 10:03 pm

The Cherokee Nation is changing some things to make it much easier for new parents to take time off when they have or adopt a child.

The biggest change this brings is who gets to stay and take care of a new child.

Non-traditional families and fathers employed by the nation will now be able to spend more time taking care of a newborn.

Philip Maynes advocated for the change and said Thursday's signing gives fathers, partners, and parents who adopt through the Indian child welfare department two weeks paid leave.

"Previously you'd have to use annual leave or sick leave to be able to take off with the mother after the baby is born," he said. "The first two weeks are imperative to the growth and bonding of the child to the family and to the parents. And it's not necessarily just the mother, but the father needs to be there too and the partner needs to be there too to enjoy that. And also assist with mother during the recovery of the first two weeks."

Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said it also keeps the nation a competitive employer, offering something that 77-percent of other employers don't.

"And what that means is we're extending benefits to fathers. We're making sure we embrace the whole family," he said. "We have 4,300 employees in Cherokee Nation government. This is going to make such an impact. You know the reason to do this is because it's the right thing to do."

This family leave applies to any qualified full-time employee who's worked for the nation for at least a year before having or adopting a child.


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