NYC and Paid Parental Leave Policy: We’re at the forefront of the nation
City Hall was particularly busy yesterday – many people waited on security lines and even more poured into the main entrance, with the hope of getting a glimpse of Mayor Bill de Blasio as he signed into effect one of the most generous paid leave policies in the country. Three members of the New York Junior League’s Advocates for Public Policy Committee (APP): Samantha Santaniello, Erika Milczek, and Leah Branch, attended the bill signing at City Hall and experienced this historic event.
The City’s new policy will affect about 20,000 NYC public employees by providing six weeks of paid leave at 100 percent salary for maternity, paternity, or foster care leave and up to 12 weeks of fully paid when combined with existing paid time off. The new benefit comes at no cost to taxpayers and must be taken within 24 weeks of the qualifying event. First Lady Chirlane summed up why APP is passionate about this issue when she said, “paid parental leave isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s an investment in the future of our city.”
Although efforts to pass some form of paid leave in Albany fizzled last year, APP believes this announcement was particularly helpful for APP’s advocacy efforts on a state level. New York City adopted paid family leave as the policy becomes a hot topic in the national debate on gender equity and follows the implementation of paid leave initiatives in major cities and states nationwide.
Mayor de Blasio used the announcement to call upon federal and state employees to take action to enact paid family leave policies saying, “I believe that there need to be changes in both federal policy and state policy that reach more and more families in a variety of ways.” APP is hoping to capitalize on this win and increase our advocacy efforts at the state level as the state’s 2016 legislative session takes shape.
To learn more about paid family leave, follow the New York Junior League on Instagram and Twitter: @thenyjl and our partner – the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign on twitter: @timetocareny and on Facebook: New Yorkers Deserve Paid Family Leave.