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Council Approves Paid Parental Leave, Workers Allowed Four Weeks to Care for Children

City of Seattle

Council Approves Paid Parental Leave, Workers Allowed Four Weeks to Care for Children

SEATTLECouncilmember Jean Godden today led her colleagues in a unanimous vote to bring a paid parental leave policy to City of Seattle employees.

“Paid parental leave for both women and men is a critical tool in fighting the gender pay gap,” says Councilmember Godden, Chair of the Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Gender Equity Committee. “Retention of female employees and their mobility into higher paying positions can be improved when paid parental leave is encouraged for both men and women, narrowing the gender pay gap. This is the right thing to do and makes Seattle a national leader for families and for women.”

The legislation will provide four weeks of paid parental leave to City employees with tenure of more than six months, regardless of gender, who welcome a new child into their home. The policy can be utilized by parents who provide foster care, choose adoption, or for a live birth. The child must be 18 years or younger and the leave must be utilized within the first year of the child joining the employee’s family.

The intent of C.B. 118356 is to provide critical bonding time for employees of the City to have with their children. This legislation also serves to address gender pay equity initiatives within the City by prioritizing paid parental leave for both women and men, which shifts the perception that women should be the main child-care provider both in the home and at work.

“By implementing paid parental leave for our employees, we are honoring a proud Seattle tradition of leading the nation with progressive policies that protect our workers and their families. It should no longer be an economic burden for parents to bond with their children during the first weeks with their family. It is my hope that other public and private employers will recognize the importance of this policy and follow suit,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “I want to thank City Council for this vote and, in particular, I want to thank Councilmember Jean Godden for her effective advocacy.”

Mayor Murray will sign the ordinance in a public ceremony this Friday, April 17.  The legislation takes effect 30 days after the bill is signed by the Mayor.


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