Mayor Lenny Curry announced a new city employee parental leave policy this morning at a press conference in city hall.
The new policy will offer all new parents employed by the city up to six weeks of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child.
The press conference was attended by the mayor and his wife as well as officials from Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, some of whom also spoke in support of the policy.
“I believe all families deserve an environment where parents and newborns get an opportunity to bond without the worry of work demands and stresses of a reduced income,” said Curry.
“This new employee benefit recognizes the importance of our employees’ families, and the valuable bonding time after the birth or adoption of a child.”
Previously, while city employees were entitled to taking up to 12 weeks of leave while having their jobs guaranteed, pay was not guaranteed to those employees beyond any paid vacation days they had accrued prior to their absence.
Curry indicated that he hopes the new policy will serve as a positive example to encourage local private businesses to follow suit.
“I would encourage [local businesses] to look at this example and consider following it,” he said.
The new policy, once finalized by city council, would likely take effect in October. Jacksonville would become one of the few city governments in Florida to offer a paid parental leave policy.