Mayor De Blasio Signs Paid Parental Leave Personnel Order for NYC Workers

New policy puts NYC at forefront of nation, providing six weeks at 100 percent salary for maternity, paternity, adoption, or foster care leave – and up to 12 weeks fully paid when combined with existing leave

Studies show paid parental leave is good for employees, their families – and employers

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a personnel order today to provide paid parental leave policy to approximately 20,000 New York City employees – putting the City at the forefront of city and state policies around the country.

The personnel order provides six weeks of paid time off for maternity, paternity, adoption, and foster care leave, at 100 percent of salary – or up to 12 weeks total when combined with existing leave. This new policy brings New York City in line with the most generous localities in the country, Austin and Pittsburgh. The City is also immediately sitting down with its municipal unions to extend the policy to their covered employees, as required by collective bargaining rules.

“For too long, new parents have faced the impossible choice between bonding with their child and paying their bills,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Paid parental leave means healthier and more financially stable families, more effective workplaces, and a stronger and more just city – which everyone can get behind. From increased minimum and living wages, to paid sick and parental leave, these policies ensure that New York City will continue to lead the country in fighting for our working families. “

“The most important job of a new parent is to spend as much time as possible with the baby. Forming a strong bond with an infant has a life-long positive effect on the child’s physical and mental health,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “Paid parental leave isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s an investment in the future of our city.”

Today’s personnel order provides approximately 20,000 non-represented managerial and original jurisdiction employees with this new paid parental leave policy as of December 22, 2015. The new benefit comes at no new cost to New York City taxpayers: the personnel order repurposes an existing managerial raise of 0.47 percent scheduled for July 2017 and caps vacation time at 25 days for the 20,000 employees covered by the benefit.

The six weeks of paid leave at 100 percent of salary can be combined with existing leave – accrued sick leave and/or accrued vacation – so that employees can take up to 12 weeks maternity, paternity, adoption, or foster care leave without losing pay. Per the Mayor’s personnel order, the six weeks of leave must be taken within 24 weeks of the qualifying event (birth, adoption, foster care); once the first day of paid parental leave is taken, the employee must use the remaining paid parental leave within the following 12 weeks.

Studies consistently show the positive impact of paid parental leave not just for employees, but also for employers and the people they serve – helping to reduce turnover, while ensuring that employees are able to return to work ready. A report last year by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers found that over 90 percent of employers covered by a California paid leave initiative reported either positive or no noticeable impact on profitability, turnover and morale. Other studies have found that families that benefit from paid leave are less likely to receive public assistance, and that the program can substantially reduce infant mortality rates and improve a child’s overall health.

“We have been trying for years to interest various city administrations in expanding parental leave, and finally we have a willing partner on an issue that is very important to us. We look forward to negotiating with the administration for an appropriate way to extend and expand parental benefits for our members,” said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers.

“The New York City Central Labor Council has been a proponent of Paid Parental Leave because it provides workers with the peace of mind to know they will have the valuable time they need to bond with a newborn, foster, or newly adopted child,” said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “We commend Mayor de Blasio for taking this stand for New York City’s working families, and we will continue to work to ensure that these provisions are expanded to include unionized workers.”

“Working families across New York City should be elated by today’s announcement. All parents deserve time off to care for their new children, and today’s action by Mayor de Blasio will make that a reality for tens of thousands of families. This immediately makes New York City a national leader on paid leave, and is another sign of the growing momentum across the city, state, and country behind this and other policies that put working families first,” said Bill Lipton, New York State Director of the Working Families Party.

“Paid parental leave is vital for working parents and we’re glad to see Mayor de Blasio leading the way on this issue,” said 32BJ President Hector Figueroa. “This Executive Order is an important first step and 32BJ and its 70,000 members in New York City will keep fighting to ensure that all workers have a comprehensive paid family leave policy that allows them to raise their families and be there for their children, spouses and aging parents and grandparents.”

“Congratulations, Mayor de Blasio, on this visionary change. By introducing paid parental leave, New York City instantly becomes a leader in creating a new kind of city – a city in which we all thrive when each one of us thrives. Paid parental leave is a major blow to inequality – of income, but also of gender. Our union, the PSC, felt the urgency of winning this benefit, and successfully negotiated a paid parental leave provision in our last collective bargaining agreement with CUNY. Few things in our contract have been more transformative. We salute the Mayor on bringing this transformation to thousands of New Yorkers and setting a powerful example for hundreds of thousands more,” said Barbara Bowen, President of the Professional Staff Congress, the union of CUNY faculty and staff.

“By signing his Executive Order that provides for a robust paid paternal leave policy for City employees, Mayor de Blasio has once again shown his commitment to working families. We applaud the Mayor for leading on this issue,” said Peter Ward, President of the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council.

A Better Balance co-Presidents and co-Founders Sherry Leiwant and Dina Bakst said, “Mayor de Blasio recognizes how important paid family leave is for New Yorkers struggling to make ends meet while also being able to spend time bonding with a new child. His leadership means New York City is helping to drive much-needed change in support of common-sense paid family leave policies at the local, state and national level. And while more remains to be done, this critical step forward means that some 20,000 New York City workers won’t have to choose between a paycheck and caring for a new baby.”

Jenn Hyman, CEO and co-Founder of Rent the Runway, said, “We are proud to provide paid primary caregiver leave and a flexible return-to-work policy to all employees at Rent the Runway, 65 percent of whom are female. We recognize that the innovation behind our growth is derived from our talent, so supporting every member of our team during whatever life stage they inhabit has always been a priority for us. Reflecting that in our policies is paramount to the vitality of our company culture.”

Dennis Crowley, co-Founder and CEO of Foursquare, said, “As a NYC-based business, Foursquare commends Mayor de Blasio’s action and hopes our City’s leadership creates the momentum we need for national change. All families should be able to benefit the way Foursquare and New York City employees do. Foursquare provides paid parental leave for all parents because it is the right thing to do. It’s good for our employees and their families – and good for us as a business, making our workforce stronger, happier, and more productive. As an expecting father, I’m proud to be able to raise my children in a city whose employees don’t have to choose between keeping their job and spending time with their new child.”

“The Coalition for Asian American Children and Families applauds Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to supporting all families with paid family leave. This new policy will allow many Asian Pacific American families who work for the City of New York, the time to become a family without fear of losing their job or economic well-being,” said Sheelah A. Feinberg, Executive Director of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families.

Bonnie Wong, President of Asian Women in Business, said, “Finally, we have a leave policy that helps families – parents and their children are the centerpiece of this progressive Executive Order. We are pleased that Mayor de Blasio has put New York City in the forefront of the issue of supporting parents.”

“I commend Mayor de Blasio for recognizing that no parent should have to choose between taking care of their growing family and financial security. New Yorkers deserve family friendly workplaces that value their children especially in the earliest days of parenthood,” said Grace Bonilla, President and CEO of The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families.

“The paid parental leave is a bold, courageous and progressive bill put forth by the de Blasio Administration. It is a clear demonstration that this administration is committed to addressing issues that affect the wellbeing of babies and their parents whose presence is essential during these early days of their child’s life. I applaud and thank the administration for its commitment to the mental, emotional, physical and social health of parents and children and for understanding that one’s ability to be effective and productive is directly connected to the state of their wellbeing,” said Yvonne Stennett, Community League of the Heights.

“Once again, the de Blasio administration has put families first by signing the Executive Order for the Paid Parental Leave for NYC Employees. New parents don’t have to worry about paying their bills and can now enjoy time at home with their children. This strengthens families and communities,” said Maria Lizardo, Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation.

“The early years is a saying that relates to many individuals childhood memory, it should also relate to parents memory of their first eight to 12 weeks shared with their newborn, that is so vital to the mother-father-child bonding. The Mayor’s paid parental leave will make this possible for the NYC employees,’ said Jose Tejada, Dominico-American Society.

“I am proud to live in a city that is taking care of children and families. Thank you, Mayor de Blasio, for enabling parents to be with their children in the precious first six weeks of life,” said Rabbi Rachel Timoner, Congregation Beth Elohim.

“Mayor de Blasio’s support for working families in New York City is a terrific expression of leadership, demonstrating that this city thrives best when all its citizens can work for a living wage and support their loved ones with dignity and the best gift of all, family time together,” said Rabbi Andy Bachman, Director of Jewish Content at the 92Y.

“The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act protects your job but it does not give any financial support to the parents. Today Mayor de Blasio’s paid parental leave policy takes a huge leap forward and provides that support,” said Rob Solano, Executive Director of Churches United For Fair Housing.

“We celebrate Mayor DeBlasio for providing much needed economic and emotional relief to these parents, who will no longer have to choose between their paychecks or being home with their new children,” said Linta Varghese, New York Organizer for Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network. “We are now one step closer to our vision of a more caring New York – where parental leave is paid, childcare is affordable, and childcare workers are treated with fairness and dignity.”

“Our great cities – where people live together, know each other’s needs, and collectively represent the national majority – are taking the lead in enacting policies that become a model for the rest of the country. Mayor de Blasio is continuing this trend with his action to establish paid parental leave in New York City. Good for him and good for all of us,” said Gloria Steinem.

“Thousands of New Yorkers will have a happier and healthier New Year now that they no longer have to make the impossible choice between their family’s health and financial stability,” said Donna Dolan, Executive Director of the New York Paid Leave Coalition. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio for bringing us one step closer to making paid family leave a reality across NYS and the US.”