This City is First in the U.S. to Mandate a Fully-Paid Parental Leave Policy

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Parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child can be a huge source of stress for U.S. families — and for obvious reasons. 

This is because there is no universal family leave policy mandating paid time off, meaning new moms and dads often have to make the difficult choice to return to work before they’re ready, or face the financial repercussions.

One major city is leading the way to change this. 

San Francisco has recently become the first city in the U.S. to pass legislation entitling all new parents to fully-paid leave. Yes, both moms and dads can count on receiving the full amount of their paychecks for six whole weeks following the birth, adoption or fostering of a new child, reports The Guardian. This law officially goes into effect next year.

The state of California has actually offered 55-percent of parents’ salaries for six weeks of leave since 2002, according to The New York Times. As a result of this new law, San Francisco employers with more than 20 employees will have to make up the difference.

Sadly, the U.S. remains the only developed nation that does not mandate paid family leave. Although the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) offers up to 12 weeks off for certain employees after the birth of a child (or to care for a sick family member,) none of this time is required to be paid. While more and more individual companies are stepping up to offer at least partially-paid time off — and a total of five states now, with the addition of New York just this week — the U.S. still has a long way to go in order to catch up.

The thing is, multiple studies have shown that paid time off after the birth of a child offers so many benefits for both parents and children. Hopefully, San Francisco is merely the first to step up to the paid parental leave plate in a long line of many major cities to come.

Share your thoughts! What do you think about San Francisco’s new fully-paid parental leave policy?

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