Nikita Richardson
December 24, 2015 1:24 pm

There are a lot of reasons why American families continue to struggle compared to families in other developed nations — but one of the primary points of contention is parental leave. Most parents often don’t get enough time off to care for their newborns or newly adopted children. This leads to parents going back to work before they feel ready to, or taking unpaid time off. Both solutions are problematic in their own ways.

New York City, though, is trying to create a better, more viable solution for new moms and dads. This week, Mayor Bill De Blasio has officially announced a new policy (to be enacted via executive order) that will give 20,000 non-union, city employees six weeks of fully paid parental leave. With this announcement, the City of New York now has one of the best parental leave policies for parents anywhere in the United States.

“Too many new parents face an impossible choice: taking care of their child or getting their paycheck,” the mayor said in a statement. “This is a common-sense policy that will make for healthier and more financially stable working families.”

The new policy does come at a cost: Long-serving city employees will have their number of vacation days cut from 27 to 25 days of the year and city managers will miss out on a 0.47 percent raise. Meanwhile, union workers will have to negotiate for the right to be included under the new policy.

Still, the change is significant and another in a push in the city to make the lives of laborers easier. Earlier this year, New York governor Andrew Cuomo instituted a new $15 minimum wage for state employees and fast food workers with a wage hike of $9 set to go into effect on December 31. Not only will workers in New York be able spend more time with their new family member(s), but they’ll also have the means to support their development. Bravo to this.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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