May 16, 2023 - Politics

Cleveland will offer 12 weeks' paid parental leave to city employees

Photo illustration of Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb with lines radiating from him.

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Sarah Rice for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Mayor Justin Bibb proposed legislation yesterday that will provide 12 weeks of 100% paid parental leave to city employees after the birth or adoption of a child.

Why it matters: With about 7,000 employees, the City of Cleveland is one of the region's largest employers.

Driving the news: Bibb communicated the policy in an internal email Sunday and published a press release yesterday, saying he hoped the city's action would inspire other employers to follow suit.

What they're saying: "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 [employees] are seeking," Bibb said in the release.

  • "We believe this new policy will serve as both an attraction and retention tool."

Details: All parents will be able to use their 12 weeks of leave intermittently to provide flexibility.

  • And they will be eligible for 20 hours of additional time off for prenatal care or other appointments.

What's next: If City Council approves it, the policy will apply to all non-union city employees, though Bibb said the city's intent is for parental leave to be available to union employees when they bargain new contracts.

  • Council's final meeting before its summer recess is June 5, and the hope from City Hall is that the leave policy will be adopted by then.

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