LA Parents Just Got One Step Closer To 18 Weeks Of Paid Parental Leave

Swaddled newborn (Rena Tom/flickr Creative Commons)

New parents in Los Angeles might soon have more support from the city than ever before. In a vote today, City Council moved ahead with a motion that would grant 18 weeks of fully paid parental leave to families welcoming home a new baby.

The motion was introduced in January by councilmembers David Ryu and Nury Martinez. If it makes it through the council's vetting process, it would require employers within Los Angeles to make up the difference between the money employees receive through the state of California's disability insurance and/or paid family leave programs, and the full amount of their salary.

Current state law provides workers with 60 to 70 percent of their salary during the first 18 weeks or parenthood.

Today's vote, which was unanimous, asks the City Attorney to report back with options for turning the motion into an ordinance, as well as with any preemptive concerns. It also instructs the City Administrative Officer and Chief Legislative Analyst to develop recommendations for an independent economic analysis of the proposed program.

Additionally, the vote instructs various city offices to review potential elements of the program, including a timeline for implementation and mechanisms for enforcement. It also instructs those offices to develop recommendations for allowing L.A. to encourage the state to remove the word "disability" from the officially used phrase "Pregnancy Disability Leave," and monitor Governor Gavin Newsom's efforts to implement six months of paid leave at the state level.

"Los Angeles is such a hard place for working people starting a family," said Martinez in a statement. "This is one step to help make the lives our residents slightly less stressful... I thank my colleagues on the City Council for being on the right side of history."

Correction: A previous version of this story's headline said that the proposed parental leave would be 18 months. It is 18 weeks. LAist regrets the error.