Mayor Garcetti proposes first-ever paid parental leave for L.A. municipal employees

Announcement made at Third Annual State of Women & Girls Address and Expo, where Mayor Garcetti and First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland welcomed more than 1,000 people to day-long conversation about gender equity in L.A. and beyond. 

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today unveiled a proposal for the City of Los Angeles to offer paid parental leave to municipal employees, which could create a new benefit for tens of thousands of full-time City workers who are ineligible for paid parental leave from the state.

“Family is everything, and parents shouldn’t have to rely only on sick or vacation days when it’s time to bond with their children,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We look at everything we do through a gender equity lens — and paid parental leave will empower women in the workplace, help moms and dads care for their kids, and support City workers in a way that helps them better serve the public.”

The Mayor’s proposal, which was presented to the City Council today and will be negotiated with employee representatives before implementation, will provide up to six weeks of fully paid parental leave for a City employee following the birth, adoption, or long-term foster care placement of a child. Under the proposal, paid parental leave would first be available to non-sworn employees — a majority of the City’s workforce — and subsequently extended to fire and police personnel.

A motion calling for paid parental leave for City employees was sponsored on the City Council by Councilmembers Nury Martinez and Paul Krekorian.

“Parents should never have to choose between making ends meet and spending time with their newborn children,” said Council President Herb Wesson. “Besides being the right thing to do, we know this extension of paid leave will keep our workers in their jobs longer, allow more women to join in the labor force, and chip away at the gender pay gap.”

“Too often, women and families are forced to return to work before they have bonded with their newborn, or recovered from the effects of childbirth,” said Councilwoman Nury Martinez. “For City of L.A. employees, this policy will have a profound and positive effect on the health and long-term well-being of mothers, families and newborns. I look forward to the day we offer a similar benefit to all mothers and families throughout the City of Los Angeles — the time has come, paid parental leave for all.”

“I applaud the Mayor for taking this historic action,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, “the continuation of a four year effort that I began with my colleague Nury Martinez on behalf of city employees and their families.”

The Mayor announced the proposal at the Third Annual State of Women & Girls Address and Expo, where the Mayor joined First Lady of Los Angeles Amy Elaine Wakeland in welcoming more than 1,000 female leaders and LAUSD students from across the city — to participate in a day meant to inspire, educate, and motivate Angelenos of all ages to be part of the movement for gender equality.