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Fellow workers in state government will be able to donate some of their own vacation and compensatory time benefits to new mothers who are on family medical leave under a new policy approved by the Ricketts administration.

"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," Gov. Pete Ricketts said Monday.

"We want our teammates at the State of Nebraska to have the flexibility they need to be with their newborn children following their birth," the governor said.

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State employees are entitled to 12 weeks of job-protection leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, but new mothers need to use their own paid time off to receive compensation while on leave.

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"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," the governor's office stated in announcing the policy change.

With agency director approval, expecting mothers or new mothers can receive donated vacation and compensatory time benefits from their co-workers within their own agency, the announcement said.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.

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