Paid Parental Leave

The United States is the only developed nation in the world that does not have a policy and practice of guaranteeing paid time off for the arrival of a new child. Paid parental leave has been linked to stronger bonding between parents and children, and long lasting health benefits. Paid parental leave also plays an important role in addressing gender-based pay inequity, by increasing the retention and earnings of women employees, and bolstering efforts to recruit women.

In April 2015, the City of Seattle adopted a Paid Parental Leave Policy that guarantees four weeks of continuous or intermittent paid leave for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a new child or children in a 12 month period. This leave can be used by employees after six months of employment with the City of Seattle, and can be used in addition to other accrued leave, including vacation and sick leave.

The start of paid parental leave for the City’s workforce is another example of how the City of Seattle is leading the way in support of workers. Providing paid leave for working parents allows parents a chance to create and strengthen bonds within their families without forcing them to exhaust all of their vacation and sick time, or unfairly take too much unpaid time off. This is the right thing to do for our public employees, for their families and for the community.
-Mayor Edward B. Murray