Full-time city employees will be eligible for up to 500 hours of 100% paid leave during new child life events
Mayor Justin M. Bibb is proposing a new paid parental leave policy that will benefit employees who experience a new child life event. Full-time city employees, both hourly and salary, who have completed 30 days of continuous service will be eligible to receive the benefit. No other prerequisites will be required. Under this new paid time off policy, employees will be eligible for up to 500 hours leave and will be paid at 100% of their base pay. The comprehensive policy will be offered to new parents in birthing, adoption, and guardianship situations.
“I’m excited to present this new proposal coming out of Mother’s Day weekend. We want to set the standard in employee engagement by showing that we not only are listening, but taking significant steps forward by implementing what they are seeking,” said Mayor Bibb. “We hope other organizations in our region, both public and private sector, will follow our lead to support our workforce the best we can so that Cleveland can become an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
The policy will be offered to both biological parents in birthing situations, as well as those who have legally become a parent – via adoption or guardianship – of a new child who resides in the same household. Eligible employees will be entitled to 12 weeks (480 hours) of 100% paid leave following the new child life event. They will also be entitled up to an additional 20 hours of 100% paid leave prior to the new child life event – to attend prenatal and related medical appointments or to attend required meetings during the adoption and guardianship processes. Eligible employees will be able to use the paid parental leave intermittently, allowing flexibility to use the time off to best meet their individual needs and situations. Employees who experience stillbirth or miscarriage will be eligible for 3 weeks of 100% paid leave.
Studies have shown similar policies have various long-term organizational benefits such as reduced turnover costs, improved employee morale, increased worker productivity, and more success in recruiting. The paid leave will be additional time off that won’t affect other balances, such as sick or vacation time, that employees have already earned. They will also continue to accrue time and maintain their benefits while on leave.
“We believe this new policy will serve as both an attraction and retention tool – to help recruit new employees and keep our current ones,” added Mayor Bibb. “We’ll continue to look for innovative ways to expand our benefits package towards being a more inclusive employer of choice.”
“Paid parental leave is the next step in demonstrating the importance of our people – here at the City of Cleveland,” stated Councilman Charles Slife. “The city is one of the largest employers in the county, and providing our workers with this benefit will improve morale, efficiency, and productivity – and help us to attract and retain top-level talent. Families are the foundation of our city and our society.”
The proposed policy has been submitted to City Council and will be presented at tonight’s council meeting. If approved, the policy will be available to all full-time, non-union City of Cleveland employees. It is the city’s intent that this new benefit will be made available to union employees as negotiations for bargaining agreements continue.