- New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a policy Feb. 14, effective immediately, that provides more than 10,000 nonunion state employees with 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave “to use for bonding with a newborn, fostered or adopted child.”
- The policy applies to all executive branch employees who work full time or at least 50% part-time on their first day on the job. The Office of Employee Relations is working with unions representing state employees to add the new benefit to collective bargaining agreements, the governor’s office said.
- “This policy will establish New York State as a model for helping working families,” Hochul said in a news release. “My administration is committed to giving our public servants the support they need because it’s not only good for their families, it’s good policy.”
Politicians and worker advocates are pushing for mandated paid leave nationwide.
In the State of the Union address Feb. 7, President Joe Biden advocated for paid family and medical leave. And, during a U.S. Department of Labor event Feb. 6 celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, Secretary Marty Walsh said it was an opportunity “to build on” the intention of the FMLA and establish nationwide paid leave.
Some state and local jurisdictions have created their own paid leave requirements in the absence of national policy. Sixteen states and Washington, D.C., require paid sick leave, and about a dozen states and D.C. have implemented paid family and medical leave laws.
Employer and their advocates have backed some nationwide leave proposals, saying they need relief from the patchwork of state and local requirements.