City of Dallas employees who become parents can now take up to six weeks of paid time off after the City Council unanimously approved a paid parental leave policy Wednesday.
The policy applies to all of the city’s 13,000 employees. Previously, they could either take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off under federal law, or burn through sick days and vacation days.
Parents of newborn children and parents who have recently adopted a child are eligible for paid time off under the new policy.
Efforts to give city employees’ paid parental leave picked up steam earlier this year after Mayor Eric Johnson and his wife had their third child. The new policy doesn’t apply to elected officials—that would require voters to OK a change to the city charter—but “it is important to me, as the first mayor in Dallas history to have a child born while in office, that the City Council have the chance to consider whether to offer such a benefit for our employees,” Johnson wrote in a memo urging council members to consider such a policy. In May, he directed the council’s Government Performance and Financial Management committee to study the issue. It came together quickly after.
“Dallas should strive to be a top city for families, and I believe paid parental leave could contribute to a stronger work environment and set an excellent example for our residents and other employers.”
Fort Worth beat Dallas to the punch: in August of 2020, the city to our west approved up to six weeks of paid time off, similar to the city of Dallas’ decision on Wednesday.