Council Passes Bills Requiring Paid Parental Leave for County Employees and Lactation Rooms in County Buildings 

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 26, 2022Today the Montgomery County Council voted to enact two bills, introduced by Councilmember Andrew Friedson and cosponsored by all other Councilmembers, that will benefit working parents in Montgomery County Government.

Bill 10-22, the Paid Parental Leave Act, will provide six weeks of paid parental leave for County employees at 100 percent of the employee’s salary. Bill 11-22, the Right to Nourish Act, will require the County to provide lactation rooms or alternative accommodations for employees in its buildings.

“I am proud that the Montgomery County Government will now provide paid parental leave and accessible lactation rooms to our public employees, modeling the type of family-friendly policies we want all employers to implement,” said Councilmember Friedson. “This standard requirement will help our working parents avoid the impossible and false choices between work and family life to support our labor force and ultimately improve the services we provide to residents.”

Both bills seek to expand support for County employees who are new parents and improve the well-being of both the parents and their children.

The goal of the Paid Parental Leave Act is to improve maternal mental and physical health, allow for parents to have greater involvement in caretaking and enhance the economic security of the many families who support the County government’s operations. Paid parental leave has also been proven to increase retention and productivity and boost labor force participation.

The Right to Nourish Act will allow parents who are able to and choose to breastfeed to continue doing so when they return to work at County-owned building. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that Montgomery County has one of the highest rates of breastfeeding initiation in Maryland, at 96.3 percent. The Right to Nourish Act is aimed at supporting these efforts, so that parents will not be forced to choose between returning to work and continuing to breastfeed.

The ability to breastfeed may have a long-lasting impact on the health and well-being of mothers and their infants. Breastfed infants have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, obesity, asthma, infection and sudden infant death syndrome. For mothers, breastfeeding lowers the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer and breast cancer. The County will likely also see additional socio-economic benefits, as breastfeeding is linked to decreased direct and indirect insurance claim costs and missed days from work due to caring for a sick infant.

The Paid Parental Leave Act will require the County to:

  • provide paid parental leave to County employees prior to the effective date of Maryland’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program; and
  • pay an employee’s salary, minus benefits under the state Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, for certain leave taken under the state Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program.

The Right to Nourish Act will:

  • Require County buildings to include a lactation room for County employees or provide alternative accommodations;
  • require employees to receive break time for lactation needs;
  • require the County Executive to establish personnel regulations for certain accommodations; and
  • require that certain educational materials will be posted on the County’s website.

You can view the staff report for the Paid Parental Leave Act here and the staff report for the Right to Nourish Act here. Councilmember Friedson was joined by local and state leaders and community advocates in June for a press conference to announce both bills. You can view highlights on the Council’s YouTube page.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.



2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES



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