Garcetti announces plan to provide parental leave pay for city employees

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES - 2019/03/13: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks during a ceremony in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Police Department. (Photo by Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday unveiled a proposal to offer paid parental leave to city employees.

"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," Garcetti said in announcing the proposal at the third annual State of Women and Girls Address and Expo at the JW Marriott hotel at L.A. Live.

"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," he said.

Garcetti wants to 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. The paid leave would be prioritized for non-sworn employees.

He said details of the proposal will be negotiated with employee representatives before it is brought before the City Council for a vote.

In January, councilmembers David Ryu and Nury Martinez introduced a motion for paid parental leave for 18 weeks for all employees working within the city, not necessarily just for those who work for the government.

According to the city's benefits website, HMO and PPO health care plans are available to city employees, but there is no mention of parental leave.

"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," Martinez said. "...This policy will have a profound and positive effect on the health and long-term well-being of mothers, families and newborns."

Garcetti also announced during the expo that Los Angeles will form an international gender equity network to assemble cities throughout the world committed to promoting gender equity initiatives.