In a milestone for proponents of paid parental leave, San Francisco became the first city to offer fully funded paid time off for new parents. The ordinance passed by a unanimous decision of the city Board of Supervisors will take effect in 2017.
"The U.S. is so far behind the rest of the world in providing access to parental leave, and low income workers are particularly denied access," Supervisor Scott Wiener said on Facebook. "This legislation is a great step forward for working families. Let's keep the momentum going!"
Under the plan, 45% of employee salaries would be paid by employers while the remaining 55% would come from a state disability fund, with a ceiling on wages beyond $106,740.
Historically one of the nation's most progressive cities, San Francisco has long been ahead of the curve on the subject with the city's roughly 30,000 employees already receiving 12 weeks of paid leave.
Also this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a similar bill that would grant 12 weeks of paid parental leave to private sector workers, but that would only phased in by 2021. Around the country, California, New Jersey and Rhode island also offer some amount of partial paid leave as well.