PRESS RELEASE: Councilmembers Ryu & Martinez Introduce Motion for Paid Parental Leave in Los Angeles

Los Angeles -- Today, Councilmember David Ryu (CD4) and Councilwoman Nury Martinez (CD6) introduced a motion to establish a comprehensive parental leave policy in Los Angeles that would allow new parents to take up to 18 weeks of leave without a reduction in pay. The motion calls for a Paid Parental Leave Ordinance in the City of Los Angeles as well as a study of the potential impacts such a policy might have on small businesses and non-profit organizations, among others. A parental leave policy in Los Angeles would augment existing State Disability Insurance and Paid Parental Leave programs to allow working parents to spend time with their child without any reduction in their weekly income.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 29, 2019

Contact:

Estevan Montemayor

estevan.montemayor@lacity.org

213.605.4145



Councilmembers Ryu & Martinez Introduce Motion for Paid Parental Leave in Los Angeles

 

Los Angeles -- Today, Councilmember David Ryu (CD4) and Councilwoman Nury Martinez (CD6) introduced a motion to establish a comprehensive parental leave policy in Los Angeles that would allow new parents to take up to 18 weeks of leave without a reduction in pay. The motion calls for a Paid Parental Leave Ordinance in the City of Los Angeles as well as a study of the potential impacts such a policy might have on small businesses and non-profit organizations, among others. A parental leave policy in Los Angeles would augment existing State Disability Insurance and Paid Parental Leave programs to allow working parents to spend time with their child without any reduction in their weekly income.

“For too many Los Angeles families, raising a child and paying the bills is becoming an impossible choice,” Councilmember Ryu said. “Families should not have to choose between parenting and a paycheck. Parenthood is not a liability, but an asset to our society, and should be treated as such. A parental leave policy would mean more time for families to spend together, more retention of workers for businesses, and a more equitable and just Los Angeles.”

“Since I was elected five years ago, I have worked every day to make our City a better, friendlier place for working families. I am proud to say that with the introduction of the Paid Parental Leave motion that would allow for new parents to take up to 18 weeks of leave without a reduction in pay, we are one step closer to achieving this goal. Los Angeles has long been the epicenter of innovation for our 21st Century economy, but as far as we have come, we still have much room to improve. Unfortunately, today’s existing state and federal programs often cater to a white collar economy, while leaving out low-wage workers and people of color. I hear so much talk about how working Americans need to evolve to reflect our changing economy, but I never hear us talk about the need for our economy to reflect us. By providing full paid parental leave, we will empower LA’s hard-working mothers and fathers with the tools to be the outstanding parents they are, without fear of losing their paychecks," Councilwoman Nury Martinez said.

California’s Paid Parental Leave policy provides eligible employees 60 to 70 percent of their weekly wages, depending on income, for up to 18 weeks of combined prepartum care, postpartum care, and bonding time with a newborn, adopted or foster child. The motion introduced by Councilmembers Ryu and Martinez asks the City Attorney to report back with potential options on a paid parental leave ordinance which would require employers in the City of Los Angeles to make up the difference between the employee’s existing State Disability Insurance or Paid Parental Leave benefits and the employee's normal gross weekly wages for up to 18 weeks.

Paid parental leave, allowing more working parents to spend time with their children in the crucial early years of life, has positive benefits for the child, parent, employer, and the overall economy. The first years of life are recognized as a critical period for children, seeing rapid rates of brain and nervous system development, as well as crucial social bonding time with caregivers.

Parental leave policies are also associated with a 3 to 4 percent increase in employment to population ratios, decreased unemployment, a significant increase in women’s participation in the labor force, and a greater degree of parity between the growth of male and female salaries. Additionally, data has shown that inadequate parental leave policies increase the likelihood that a new parent will not return to their company, and that it is more costly for a company to find and train a replacement worker rather than temporarily cover a worker’s leave if they then return to work.

Companies with increased paid parental leave benefits saw fewer employees leave the company, such as at Google, where the rate at which new mothers left the company was cut in half when additional paid parental leave was provided. Furthermore, employees who are offered paid parental leave are 39 percent less likely to need public assistance.

However, many parents eligible for partial paid parental leave decline to take it, citing a reduction in pay as the key reason. A 2011 survey conducted by the Center for Economic Policy Research found that a third of Californians who were eligible but did not apply for paid parental leave cited that the pay would be too low, and nearly half of new parents who make less than $30,000 annually who did not have fully paid parental leave had to apply for public assistance.  

Read the motion here, policy proposal here, and FAQ here.

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Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu represents the 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys.

Councilwoman Nury Martinez is the President Pro-Tem of the Los Angeles City Council. She represents the 6th Council District, which includes all or parts of the neighborhoods of Van Nuys, Lake Balboa, Sun Valley, Panorama City, Arleta, North Hollywood, and North Hills East.

http://www.nury-martinez.com/

 







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