California’s tech industry has received the media’s attention for instituting the most generous paid parental leave policies in the country. Business leaders like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook have taken paid parental leave and set industry standards in the process.
What about state and municipal workers? Presently, California workers only receive 55 percent of their pay for six weeks on parental leave.
More California cities are waking up to the idea that fully paid parental leave is necessary for new parents. For the last several months, the Los Angeles City Council has explored the idea of providing four weeks of fully paid parental leave to its employees. Members of the Los Angeles City Council are studying the budgetary impact of offering four weeks of paid leave.
Citing the growing number of businesses offering paid leave, a Los Angeles councilman argued the city would need to compete with the private sector to provide the same incentives within the next decade. Many municipal workers will retire within the next 10 years, and without incentives to attract new and talented employees, Los Angeles might run into trouble.
Other cities in California have explored paid parental leave. In San Francisco, city councilmembers are considering allowing six weeks of fully paid parental leave. This change would be an addition to the six weeks of disability leave already required under California state law.
Will Paid Parental Leave Laws Continue to Change?
Paid parental leave policies in the United States have a poor reputation, and for good reasons. Most Western countries offer an extended period of time for workers to bond with their children without having to worry about their finances or jobs.
The growing call for change is one of the reasons the private sector has stepped up and offered more generous paid parental leave policies. As more states and municipalities around the country continue to show us the benefits of paid parental leave, it is likely we will continue to see positive changes in this area of labor law.