New paid parental leave proposal announced for City of Lincoln employees

City worker parental leave proposal
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 2:58 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2023 at 3:12 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A new paid parental leave proposal for City of Lincoln employees was announced by Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and Lincoln-Lancaster County Human Resources Director Barb McIntyre Thursday morning.

If the proposal is approved, City employees would receive six weeks of paid parental leave. Currently, City employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

The City of Lincoln would also be the first municipality in Nebraska to provide paid leave for new parents if approved.

“This proposed paid parental leave policy offers a new benefit to our employees and cascading benefits to their families and our broader community. Providing new parents with paid leave contributes to healthy child development, improves maternal health, supports a partner or father’s involvement in childcare, and reinforces families’ economic security,” Mayor Gaylor Baird said. “By offering paid parental leave, the City of Lincoln will be in an even stronger position to compete for top talent who deliver the high-quality services our community expects and deserves.”

According to McIntyre, paid parental leave has wide-ranging benefits for City government and the community.

McIntyre highlighted key points from the paid parental leave policy:

  • Six weeks of paid leave for the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child/children with part-time employees receiving a prorated number of hours
  • Eligibility for full-time and part-time probationary and regular employees who are regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week
  • Approved paid parental leave may be taken at any time during the 12-month period immediately following the birth or start of the adoption/foster placement process of a child/children with the employee
  • Paid parental leave must be exhausted before an employee may utilize sick leave, vacation leave or Personal Convenience Holidays for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child/children with the employee

“When our employees and their families are supported, they perform at their best,” McIntyre said. “Paid parental leave helps new parents stay in the workforce by allowing them time to make adjustments to balance caregiver and work responsibilities, while improving their household economic security in the critical year following the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child.”

The Council is scheduled to consider the paid parental leave policy at its meeting on March 27.