Supervisor Scott Wiener today announced legislation that would make San Francisco the first city in the country to require companies to provide fully paid parental leave to employees.
While state law allows employees to get up to 55 percent of their wages for six weeks through disability payments, an ordinance Wiener plans to introduce later this month would require San Francisco employers to pay the remaining 45 percent.
The legislation, announced today with the support of the women’s rights organization Equal Rights Advocates, would apply to both mothers and fathers working for companies with 20 or more employees.
“Our current policies negatively impact all new parents, and in particular lower income workers who don’t have the safety net or flexibility to take unpaid leave,” Wiener said in a statement today. “We shouldn’t force mothers and fathers to choose between taking care of their child and putting food on the table.”
Wiener said that nationally, only 12 percent of workers have access to paid family leave through employers, and only half of first-time mothers take any paid leave. California is one of only three states to provide some paid leave, with the others being New Jersey and Rhode Island.
“San Francisco should, once again, lead the way on an important issue for workers and their families,” he said.
San Francisco voters in November approved a ballot measure introduced by Supervisor Katy Tang that allowed city employees up to 12 weeks of parental leave for both mothers and fathers. The measure also eliminated a requirement that parents taking leave use up all of their sick time.
Sara Gaiser, Bay City News