HOUSTON - Houston has made history by unanimously passing a parental leave proposal for city employees.
The announcement was made Wednesday, which makes employees for the City of Houston eligible for the following:
"(1)paid prenatal leave for prenatal wellness healthcare paid prenatal leave for prenatal wellness healthcare appointments and other absences related to the pregnancy; (2) paid parental leave to bond and care for a child after the birth or placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care to be used within the first year after childbirth or placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care; and (3) infant wellness leave following the birth of a child or placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care to be used during the infant’s first year after birth."
The City also said effective May 14, 2022, eligible employees would receive a maximum of 160 hours of paid parental leave as well as 40 hours of infant wellness leave. Additionally, eligible employees would get 320 hours of paid parental leave, also on May 14th.
"All of our employees, male and female, can benefit from what we did today. By offering paid, prenatal, parental, and infant wellness leaves, the City of Houston will be able to attract and retain top talent while supporting families and children," Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a press statement. "As a father, I understand the importance of bonding with a newborn, and I also listened to the stories of employees who have struggled to balance work with the birth or adoption of a child."
This number is expected to increase starting September 1, 2023, when City employees would be eligible for up to 480 hours of paid parental leave.
These rules regarding the eligibility, according to the City of Houston, would be under the direction of the Human Resources Director.