Jacksonville mayor proposes new parental leave for city employees, first responders

New leave program for city employees, first responders

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Tuesday morning, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced the proposal of paid 6 weeks parental leave for city employees, JSO and JFRD for parents of newborn children.

Mayor Curry made the announcement surrounded by expecting parents and police and fire union representatives at City Hall, and said the City Council must approve the plan first.  If approved, the mayor said the paid leave could begin October first.

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“The stress is no longer there of financially being able to take care of my family,” expecting JSO Corrections Officer Ashley Myers said.

The new plan would replace the city’s current policy of 12 unpaid weeks of leave.

Action News Jax reached out to City Council President Aaron Bowman’s office for comment, and have not heard back.

Mayor Curry said this proposal is already built into the city’s budget.

The City of Jacksonville stated the following in a press release:

"The preexisting policy limited eligible employees to taking up to 12 weeks of leave, utilizing their available leave in conjunction with unpaid leave following a birth, in adherence with Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guidelines.

Tentative agreements have been reached by the City and union bargaining agents. Following ratification by City Council, expected in early October, the City of Jacksonville would be among few city governments in the state to offer a paid parental leave policy.

Statistics support that paid leave can have a positive impact on the health of children and families. In addition to health benefits, there are also long-term economic benefits for both families and employers who offer paid leave. The benefit is available to both the father and mother of the child if both are City employees.

The preexisting policy limited eligible employees to taking up to 12 weeks of leave, utilizing their available leave in conjunction with unpaid leave following a birth, in adherence with Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guidelines.

Tentative agreements have been reached by the City and union bargaining agents. Following ratification by City Council, expected in early October, the City of Jacksonville would be among few city governments in the state to offer a paid parental leave policy."