Seattle's paid-parental leave proposed to extend to eight weeks

Pregnant woman

SEATTLE — Seattle is working to expand paid parental leave for Seattle employees from four weeks to eight.

Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City council members proposed a plan on Wednesday to lengthen Seattle employees' amount of paid parental leave from four to eight weeks. This extended leave program is intended to establish workplace equity and ensure equal benefits for all City of Seattle employees.

Recent studies have shown that employees produce higher quality work when given adequate parental leave. Research also supports that time off for new parents is imperative for their mental and physical health.

"This proposal is a tremendous benefit for city employees who experience a family event that requires them to take time off and focus on what's most important," said Murray.

The new policy will provide employees welcoming a newborn with at least 12 weeks to paid time off. According to the Mayor's office, the United States is one of only three countries that still does not guarantee some form of paid parental leave.