Groundbreaking

San Francisco becomes first U.S. city to require fully-paid parental leave

( Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A new law in San Francisco will mandate that starting in 2017, employers must offer a fully-paid, six-week parental leave for both mothers and fathers. It makes the city the first U.S. municipality to push for parents to earn their full wage while on leave. Activists hope that the law could lead to more progressive policies across the U.S., which remains the only developed country without guaranteed family leave.

“Every time San Francisco adopts a local pro-worker ordinance, we’re told that it’s going to be the end of the world for businesses,” said Scott Wiener, San Francisco supervisor and sponsor of the proposal. “What ends up happening is the state and sometimes even the federal government follows our lead … I’m confident other cities and states will take notice.” He pointed out that San Francisco had set precedent in the past in passing a minimum wage, paid sick leave ordinance, and universal healthcare — all progressive policies that were later adapted by other governments in the country.

According to Vicki Shabo, vice president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, the first-of-its-kind San Francisco measure could help facilitate a culture shift on the national level. “It’s great to see local leaders stepping up,” she told The Guardian. “There’s a growing consensus that the nation must do something to address this.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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