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LA City Councilmembers sign motion directing city attorney to draft paid parental leave ordinance -- what might that look like?

Los Angeles City Hall.
Los Angeles City Hall.
Orlando Contreras López/flickr Creative Commons

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As the state of California turns its focus to legislating more paid parental leave under newly-minted Governor Gavin Newsom, the city of L.A. is also setting its sights on an official paid parental leave policy.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles City Councilmembers David Ryu and Nury Martinez co-signed a motion directing City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office to draft an ordinance that would govern paid parental leave in the City of Los Angeles. The details are scarce, as the proposal is still in its infancy, but we do know that the proposal would carve out up to 18 weeks of paid parental leave for new parents, who would get paid at up to 100 percent of their usual wages.

The state of California already offers eligible employees 60 to 70 percent of their wages paid out of a state disability insurance pool to which employers and employees contribute, but this proposal would put employers on the hook for filling any gap between any state benefits they already get and their regular pay. What is not clear yet is whether there would be small businesses or nonprofit organizations that would be exempt and whether the city would help cover the cost to companies.

What should the city of Los Angeles’ paid parental leave ordinance look like? How will it improve on the state of California’s already existing paid parental leave policy? What are the main concerns of local businesses, both small and large?


Councilman David Ryu, Los Angeles City Councilmember representing District 4, which stretches from Sherman Oaks through Griffith Park to Miracle Mile and includes Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Los Feliz and Koreatown; he co-signed the motion requesting the city attorney draft a paid parental leave ordinance; he tweets @davideryu

Elizabeth Hawley, legislative affairs director for Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA), an organization advocating for small businesses in the San Fernando Valley