Mayor Adams doubles paid parental leave for non-union municipal workers to 12 weeks as city contines to face staffing shortages

New York City Hall.
Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

New York City will double the amount of paid parental leave for non-union municipal employees and offer up to 12 weeks of family leave for those caring for sick relatives, as it struggles to recruit and retain workers, Mayor Eric Adams announced on Friday.

The city will immediately begin offering 12 weeks of paid parental leave — job-protected time off for parents taking care of a newborn — for non-union municipal workers, up from six weeks, according to City Hall. It will also give those with “seriously ill” family members up to 12 weeks of paid family leave through the state’s program.

The expansion of parental and family leave will impact 10,000 city workers, the mayor’s office said.

Adams, in a statement, said expanding paid leave is crucial both for retaining city workers and keeping working class families afloat financially.

“Expanding parental leave for city workers and paid leave for those with a sick family member are not only important changes to retain the talent that keeps our city moving — they are the right things to do to ensure our administration continues to help support the average working-class family in this city,” the mayor said. “Taking the time to care for a newborn baby or an aging parent should not be a luxury for the privileged few, and it should never mean risking your livelihood.”

The family leave benefit will offer as much as $1,150 per week to those caring for sick relatives and will be funded through a $13.00 per-employee paycheck deduction, according to City Hall.

The mayor’s action comes as the city workforce still has well over 18,000 vacant positions, due to attrition. On top of that, Adams imposed a hiring freeze across city agencies in September as a means of cutting costs while the city continues to provide for tens of thousands of migrants.

The staffing crisis has hindered the city’s ability to deliver critical services, according to a report from city Comptroller Brad Lander issued last March.

Adams also launched a two-day a week remote work pilot for city employees represented by District Council 37 — the city’s largest municipal workers union — last June and then expanded the program to over 16,000 non-unionized city workers in October.

The action also follows Gov. Kathy Hochul’s move last month to expand state paid family leave to cover people during pregnancy, so they can attend doctor’s appointments without missing a paycheck. The expansion is aimed at improving health outcomes for mothers and newborns alike.

New Yorkers United for Child Care, an advocacy group fighting for expanded child care, responded to the mayor’s announcement by calling for up to six months of paid family leave.

“Expanding paid family parental leave must be a priority for New York,” the group said in a statement on X. “It’s a child care issue, important for the physical recovery of the birthing parent and bonding for both parents with the baby. Let’s make like everywhere in the world and get to 6 months to a year!”