Mayor Walsh Signs Boston's First Ever Paid Parental Leave Policy
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For Immediate Release
May 18, 2015
Released By:
Mayor's Office
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
617.635.4461

BOSTON - Monday, May 18, 2015—Mayor Martin J. Walsh today signed an ordinance establishing paid parental leave for City of Boston employees, Boston's first-ever Paid Parental Leave policy. The ordinance, which was proposed by Councilors Michelle Wu, Tim McCarthy and Tito Jackson, allows for up to six weeks of Paid Parental Leave to both men and women, as well as same-sex couples, who have worked for the City for at least one year.

"I would like to thank the Council for working with the Administration to pass this important step forward for working families," said Mayor Walsh. "This is not only the right thing to do but it is important to the vitality and economy of our city. The benefits of this policy to both individuals and organization are a win-win and it is my hope that businesses will follow our lead and extend this benefit to their employees."

Previous parental leave policies, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and Massachusetts Parental Leave Act, have focused on protecting parents' jobs during unpaid leave. The lack of income during periods of parental leave is a factor in the wage gap experienced by many women, and forces employees to return to work sooner than their particular family may really need with their newborn or newly adopted child.

Mayor Walsh is proud to have worked with the Council to adopt a Paid Parental Leave policy that features:

  • Up to 6 weeks of Paid Parental Leave to be taken by day or week any time during the first year after the birth or adoption of the child or children.
  • Applies to all exempt employees, both male and female, who have worked for the City for a minimum of one year, including same-sex couples, and employees covered by collective bargaining agreements whose agreements explicitly provide for this benefit.
  • Applies for each instance of eligible employees' birth of newborns,adoption, surrogacy or other methods, and stillbirths.
  • Cannot be added to periods of unpaid, job-protected leave and, therefore, runs concurrently.

Pay during a parental leave shall be structured as follows: 100 percent for the first 2 weeks; 75 percent for weeks 3 and 4; and 50 percent for weeks 5 and 6.

As a State Representative, Mayor Walsh was the lead sponsor of the legislation that went into effect this past April, which updated the former Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act of 1972, renaming it the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act and codified that it would be available for men, women and male same-sex couples for the first time. 

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May 18, 2015 - Mayor Martin Walsh signs an ordinance allowing paid parental leave for city employees. (Mayor's Office photo by Don Harney)

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