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City Workers To Get 8 More Weeks Of Parental Leave Under New Plan

By Heather Cherone | October 13, 2017 1:01pm
 Spouses or partners of women who give birth would also be entitled to four weeks of paid parental leave, according to the measure. They now get one week of paid leave, according to city records.
Spouses or partners of women who give birth would also be entitled to four weeks of paid parental leave, according to the measure. They now get one week of paid leave, according to city records.
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CITY HALL — More than 3,100 city workers would get eight more weeks of paid leave after giving birth under a proposal authored by two of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's closest allies on the City Council.

Parents who adopt a baby would get four weeks of paid leave, an increase of three weeks, according to the measure.

Spouses or partners of women who give birth would also be entitled to four weeks of paid parental leave, according to the measure. They now get one week of paid leave, according to city records.

The workers, who are not represented by a union and make up the city's top managers, now get four weeks of paid leave after giving birth to a baby. Women who undergo a Caesarean section are entitled to six weeks of paid leave, according to the policy now in effect.

Federal law requires employers to offer employees at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave after the birth or adoption of a child.

Under the measure authored by Alds. Patrick O'Connor (40th) and Margaret Laurino (39th) new mothers would be entitled to 12 weeks of paid leave.

"As a father of five and grandfather of seven, I am very proud to take a step toward improving the workplace benefits for young families," O'Connor said in an email to residents of his ward. "The benefits to both the mother and the child are well documented and represent one small thing that the City of Chicago can do as an employer to make things easier for new parents."

The measure will not impact the city's budget "in any meaningful way," O'Connor said.

In 2011, Emanuel imposed the city's first maternity leave policy. The city employs approximately 11,000 women.

Before that, employees had a baby were forced to cobble together their maternity leave from sick days, vacation days or take an unpaid leave.

Unlike nearly all other industrialized countries, America does not require employers to give workers paid maternity leave.