LA Parents Might Someday Get 18 Weeks Of Fully Paid Parental Leave

(Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Eighteen weeks of fully paid parental leave could soon be a reality for expectant Los Angeles parents.

Los Angeles City Councilmembers David Ryu and Nury Martinez introduced a motion Tuesday that would require employers to make up the difference between the state's parental leave policy, which provides workers with 60 to 70 percent of their salary during the first 18 weeks of becoming parents, and bring it up to 100 percent.

Ryu said that new parents - particularly low-income parents, who often face the fewest choices around returning to work - "shouldn't have to choose between parenting and putting food on the table."

The councilmembers stated that the 18-week timeline aligns with current state regulations.

They are considering an exception for small businesses, and may propose a cap on the amount that employers would be required to cover, based on the annually adjusted cost of living. The state's parental leave policy currently caps weekly payments at $1,252.

Ryu and Martinez are asking the city attorney to report back with options for how the motion might be executed and are requesting a study of how the ordinance would affect small businesses and non-profits.

The proposal will go to the Health, Education, Neighborhoods, Parks, Arts and River Committee next, Ryu said. Martinez added that she would hope to see the policy implemented by the end of the year.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the Ryu/Martinez proposal will likely cap weekly payments to new parents at $1,252. In fact, that number reflects the state of California's current cap. LAist regrets the error.