KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Jordan Culp gave birth to back in March of 2019 and like many parents she went on maternity leave.

"It was not full pay it was I believe it was 60 percent," she said. 

She said going from having 100 percent checks to only a portion was hard.

"We knew we were gonna have to come up with a plan B," she said. 

However she recognizes some families don't event get that.

"Oh my gosh no, it would have rocked our world we would not have been able to make it," Culp said. 

A 2017 Pew Research study shows access can sometimes have a lot to do with income. It found households making less that $30,000 a year reported no pay during leave.

"I know that that has to rock family's worlds," she said. 

On Tuesday Gov. Bill Lee called for three months of paid leave for state employees, while Representative Gloria Johnson plans to introduce legislation for a statewide program for all Tennesseans. That includes time for new parents and those caring for a sick relative.

"Trying to navigate that can be really difficult," licensed therapist and mom Melissa Rose said.

Rose believes this is an important issue because everyone knows someone affected by paid or unpaid leave.

"I think it affects the nooks and crannies of just about everyone," she said. 

Whether you're bonding with a child or taking care of a family member, Rose said you're going to need time to adjust to how that changes your life.

"Without having that financial strain is so important," she said. 

After almost a year with little Avery Quin, Jordan Culp agrees.

"Some sort of peace of mind that my job is secure, it's still gonna be there for me when I come back but I'm still able to take care of my family and pay the bills and know that it's waiting for me," she said. 

The governor's office said the new policy will go into effect on March 1 to provide sufficient time for the Department of Human Resources to draft policy guidance, train managers, and ensure accurate tracking of time and leave. 

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