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Parental leave boosted for state employees

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul of New York has secured an updated contract with state labor unions, including the Civil Service Employees Association, Public Employees Federation, and United University Professions, allowing thousands more employees to benefit from 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave.

The benefit applies to both mothers and fathers welcoming a new baby, fostered, or adopted child. Once ratified, the agreement will cover over 80% of New York’s workforce, including more than 88,000 employees within PEF and UUP and over 52,000 workers in CSEA.

Hochul highlighted the new policy’s potential to address the stigma that can prevent men from taking parental leave, and emphasized the wider impacts, including enhanced workforce retention, improved maternal health, and increased family economic security.

These are especially crucial in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw significant declines in women’s participation in the workforce. The Labor Department plans to launch an advertising campaign encouraging fathers to utilize their paid time off, while the Commissioner Roberta Reardon underscored the move’s significance in supporting working parents and shaping a more inclusive future.