In exciting news for working families in Birmingham, Alabama, Mayor Randall Woodfin recently announced a new policy to provide city government employees with 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. Critically, this policy will also provide paid leave for a stillbirth occuring 20 or more weeks into pregnancy, extending crucial healing time to parents.
Birmingham joins the growing list of Southern cities providing dedicated paid time off work to welcome a new child for city government employees, marking heartening progress. Providing these types of protections for public sector workers is an important way to advance gender and racial equity, because women and Black workers have long been over-represented in the public sector workforce. In addition, public sector policies set an important example for the private sector, where nearly 4 in 5 workers still do not have access to paid family leave.
A Better Balance was proud to support Mayor Woodfin’s office in enacting this important policy, which will both protect working families and make the city of Birmingham a stronger, more equitable employer in its own right. Paid parental leave is proven to boost employee retention, productivity, and morale, making it an important tool for employers in today’s highly competitive labor market.
Paid parental leave is a strong stepping stone to the comprehensive paid family and medical leave program all workers–both in the public and private sector–need and deserve. We will continue to fight to advance supportive policies like paid leave across the South and beyond until all workers can access the time they need to care for themselves and their loved ones without sacrificing their economic security. For more information on what makes a strong local government paid family leave policy, visit here.