San Francisco just passed America's most generous family leave law

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San Francisco officials unanimously approved Tuesday a law requiring all employers to offer six weeks of fully paid leave for new parents.


It's the first city in the country to do so, according to USA Today.

California state law already mandates employees receive 55% of their wages for up to six weeks of paid family leave. The new San Francisco ordinance dictates that any business with more than 20 employees must pay the remaining 45%. It applies to anyone legally defined as a parent in the city (including LGBT couples), and to both full- and part-time employees who work in the city.

“Our country’s parental leave policies are woefully behind the rest of the world, and today San Francisco has taken the lead in pushing for better family leave policies for our workers,” the bill's author, Supervisor Scott Wiener, said in a statement after the vote. “We shouldn’t be forcing new mothers and fathers to choose between spending precious bonding time with their children and putting food on the table."

The New York Times notes that despite its novelty in the U.S., San Francisco's new law is still modest compared with other countries' parental leave laws. According to the International Labor Organization, only the U.S. and Papua New Guinea lack national laws providing some form of paid parental leave. Besides California, only New Jersey and Rhode Island mandate paid parental leave, though none do so at full pay, the Times notes.

On Monday, New York City passed a law requiring up to 12 weeks of partially paid time off for new parents.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.