City Council set to hear paid parental leave proposal

Local News

Just over a week after Mayor Tom Henry announced a new policy for non-union city employees to receive paid parental leave, the proposal is moving on to the next level.

The measure will be introduced to City Council at Tuesday’s meeting at Citizens Square.

The policy would help support parents by offering paid time off to focus on bonding with their new child and adjusting to their new family situation.  

Both birth and adoptive parents would be eligible for paid parental leave up to 120 hours under the plan. The leave would have to be taken within the first 12 weeks following the birth or adoption, the plan details.

Currently, the city of Fort Wayne only offers leave to birth mothers through short-term disability.

Employees also would need to meet the eligibility standards for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Mayor Henry said the idea is strengthen families and improve their quality of life.

“Fort Wayne has been recognized as a great place to raise a family,” said Henry. “However, more can be done to strengthen families who choose Fort Wayne as their home. We hope this will encourage other employers in the area to consider offering similar support to their employees. We also believe this policy will help attract and retain top talent to both local government service and our community.”

Councilman Tom Didier, 3rd District, reflected on his own experience and said he’s excited about the proposal and hopes it will be a success.

“I didn’t have the opportunity to take off work, and it would have been nice to have that two or three weeks off to be able to help your spouse at that time,” Didier said. “So me personally, I hope that the funding is doable and I think it’s a great idea.”

The potential fiscal impact is estimated to be less than $100,000 per year, if it were applied to all employees, the city said.

After being introduced Tuesday, the policy is expected to be discussed on July 10.

Fort Wayne is following the lead of the State of Indiana, which began offering paid parental leave in January. The United States remains one of the few countries in the world without a national paid family leave policy.

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