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Greensboro adopts paid parental leave for city employees

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Working America's North Carolina office leads the way

People working for the City of Greensboro will have access to up to six months of paid parental leave thanks to a successful coalition effort by community activists and working people - including AFL-CIO community affiliate Working America - which won unanimous approval by the City Council on Tuesday. The victory comes one year after the same coalition pushed Greensboro to raise its minimum wage to a family wage of $15 an hour.

From Working America's press release celebrating the good news:

The Paid Parental Leave ordinance, passed by a vote of 9 to 0, offers up to six weeks of paid parental leave to men, women and same-sex couples employed by the City of Greensboro for at least one year who welcome a new member into their families through birth, fostering or adoption. Currently, working families employed by the city may access benefits from the federal Family Medical Leave Act, which only provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave for eligible recipients.

“This ordinance is the right thing to do to help narrow the gender pay gap for Greensboro’s dedicated employees and improve the vitality and economy of our city overall,” said Councilman Jamal Fox, who introduced the ordinance. “Our city workers are professionals committed to Greensboro’s success—they shouldn't have to choose between bonding with their child and paying their bills.”

Leading up to the vote, Working America members met with City Council members and wrote letters to the editor in support of adopting the ordinance. Additionally, working families and allies—including Working America members—packed the room to offer testimony in favor of the policy during Tuesday’s meeting.

“Greensboro continues to lead the way in creating smart, family-friendly policies that address troubling disparities and acknowledge today’s diverse family structures,” said Working America North Carolina State Director Carolyn Smith. “By raising wages and granting access to paid time off to city workers to care for new additions to their families, Greensboro continues to serve as a model to municipalities throughout the south for improving standards for working families.”

Listen to coverage by local NPR affiliate, WFDD 88.5 FM.

Watch coverage by local CBS affiliate, WFMY, including interviews with working people responding to the news.

WFMY also produced a short video about the Paid Parental Leave ordinance: