Beginning Jan. 15, St. Petersburg city workers will get up to eight weeks of paid parental leave.
That’s two weeks more than has been available to workers since 2015, when the city initially began offering the benefit. The policy applies to all workers, both mothers and fathers.
Mayor Rick Kriseman announced the increase in leave time in a Jan. 1 memo, made public on Jan. 6.
There’s no quantifiable fiscal impact on the city, because workers who take advantage of the policy are paid whether they are working or not, a spokesman for the mayor said. It’s up to each department to step up as needed to address the gap, which occurs whenever workers take advantage of either parental leave or the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, a federal law requiring employers to provide workers with job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons.
Paid parental leave helps with worker retention and attracts millennials, according to Triton, a benefits and HR solutions firm. But the policy may also upset workers who are not parents, and could lead to employees with disabilities asking for a similar leave policy, Triton said.
Tampa announced it would offer up to eight weeks of paid parental leave policy in 2017. Then-mayor Bob Buckhorn said Tampa competes with cities around the world. “Attracting and retaining the most talented requires providing a 21st century workplace for our families,” Buckhorn said.
Tampa’s policy provides up to eight weeks for primary caregivers and up to two weeks for secondary caregivers.