Takoma Park should enact a paid family leave benefit for city employees
Below is an advocacy note I sent to the Takoma Park City Council and Mayor, asking them to create a paid family leave benefit for city employees.
The District of Columbia passed a bill in 2019 to provide employees a family leave benefit, and the Montgomery County Council just passed a parental leave bill for county employees. It’s past time for the city to step up! If you agree, please contact the Mayor and Council Members. Feel free to use/adapt my message.
Dear Mayor Stewart and Council Members,
I am writing to renew the call for the City of Takoma Park to offer a paid family leave benefit to city employees.
The Montgomery County Council recently unanimously enacted Bill 10-22, Personnel and Human Resources – Paid Parental Leave, sponsored by Councilmember Friedson and co-sponsored by all eight of Councilmember Friedson’s colleagues.
I will quote key Bill 10-22 background material and suggest that the county’s bill is a good baseline for City of Takoma Park policy, although I ask the city to additionally create policy for non-parental family leave.
“The purpose of Bill 10-22 is to provide paid parental leave to County employees and to supplement the State’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program for County employees.
“Under Bill 10-22, there would be a new category of paid parental leave for County employees. The leave would consist of 240 paid hours of parental leave. This leave could be used in addition to 1 #ParentalLeave 2 other accumulated leave; it would not count against the employee’s sick, annual or personal leave. Once the State’s new FAMLI program becomes operational in 2025, County employees would continue to receive 240 hours of fully paid parental leave; the employee’s leave would be paid in part by the FAMLI program. The remainder of the salary would be paid by the County. In effect, the County would be supplementing the State FAMLI program to ensure that a County employee receives 240 [hours] of fully paid parental leave during a 12-month period.”
Offering a paid family leave benefit is the right thing to do. As I previously wrote, there are a variety of mechanisms the city might consider. The cost to the city does not have to be high. I urge you to direct the city manager to explore and report on options with the goal of timely implementation. To that end, Mayor Stewart, would you please schedule council worksession discussion of paid city parental and family leave benefits for city employees?
Of course I would be happy to support policy development.
Thanks and best wishes,
7300 Willow Avenue
———- Forwarded message ———
From: Seth Grimes <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, Dec 8, 2019 at 4:04 PM
Subject: City of Takoma Park paid family leave benefit
To: Peter Kovar <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Jarrett Smith <email@example.com>, Kacy Kostiuk <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Cindy Dyballa <email@example.com>, Kate Stewart <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Terry Seamens <TerryS@takomaparkmd.gov>, Talisha Searcy <email@example.com>
Cc: Suzanne Ludlow <firstname.lastname@example.org>, City Clerk | City of Takoma Park <email@example.com>
Dear Mayor and Councilmembers,
I am writing to ask the City of Takoma Park to implement a paid family leave benefit for city employees. While employees can already use sick leave and short-term disability to cover parental time off, this allowance falls short of a clear stance in support of an important social policy, one that has significant equity implications.
I wrote the council on this topic in October 2016 and had previously discussed it with the city manager and then-HR director in early 2015. In the time since, other jurisdictions have advanced paid family leave policies. The Council of the District of Columbia enacted the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 in December 2016. Per the page https://does.dc.gov/page/dc-paid-family-leave, “The District of Columbia is implementing paid family leave so you don’t have to choose between caring for yourself or your loved ones and your job security… On July 1, 2020, the District will begin administering paid leave benefits.” Even the federal government is considering paid family leave for federal employees (https://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2019/10/advocates-congress-very-close-passing-paid-family-leave-feds/160537/).
Offering a paid family leave benefit is the right thing to do. There are a variety of mechanisms the city might consider. The cost to the city does not have to be high. I urge you to direct the city manager to explore and report on options with the goal of timely implementation.
Thanks very much,