Thursday, May 12, 2022

Resolution to Conduct Study on Paid Parental Leave Expansion for City of Austin Employees

On Thursday, May 5, 2022, Austin City Council passed a resolution to conduct a study on expanding paid parental leave benefits for City of Austin Employees. This study would determine the feasibility of doubling paid parental leave from 6 to 12 weeks as well as reducing the time required for employees to access these benefits from 1 year to 6 months. The resolution is sponsored by Council Member Fuentes, who believes expanding these benefits will lead to a more equitable city and a higher quality of life among Austinites at large.
“I firmly believe that all workers should be guaranteed this critical time to help new parents recover from childbirth and bond with their newborns, foster, or adopted children,” said Council Member Fuentes, who sponsored this resolution. “Austin can be the most family-friendly workplace, so let’s lead the way.”
“As a mother, I personally know the importance of paid parental leave,” said Mayor Pro Tem and District 10 Council Member Alison Alter. “Evidence shows that offering paid parental leave can offset social inequities and contribute to employee health and retention. This policy reflects Austin’s values as a family-friendly workplace.” Mayor Pro Tem and Council Member Alter co-sponsored this resolution.
"The City of Austin has led the way on paid parental leave among our peers across the country, and if our goal is to continue to attract the strongest and most talented workforce, we need to raise the bar on offering these benefits," said Council Member Paige Ellis, a co-sponsor. "We know family-friendly policies result in stronger families, happy employees, and more resilient communities."
“Paid parental leave is a labor issue, an equity issue, and a reproductive justice issue – and a strategy with proven benefits to employers and employees alike,” said Council Member and former Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, District 9. “Caregivers and new parents need to be able to provide this essential care to their families without fear of losing income or employment; no one should have to choose between their job and caring for their family.”
The resolution was sponsored by Council Member Vanessa Fuentes and co-sponsored by Mayor Steve Adler, Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter, Council Member Ann KitchenCouncil Member Paige EllisCouncil Member Kathie Tovo, and Council Member Chito Vela.