Boston City Councilors File Paid Parental Leave Ordinance

BOSTON – Boston City Councilors Michelle Wu (At-Large), Tim McCarthy (District 5), and Tito Jackson (District 7) will introduce an ordinance relative to paid parental leave at the Boston City Council Meeting on March 25th. This ordinance, filed today, has the full support of Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who collaborated with the Council on this policy.
Councilor Wu with her baby son at a recent event in Boston Chinatown(photo by Victor Chen,

“The actions taken by the City of Boston should reflect the values of our community and our residents,” said Wu. “As a new working mom, I am especially proud to partner with Mayor Walsh and my colleagues to ensure that Boston continues to lead on access to economic opportunity for working families. This ordinance will help alleviate some pressure on working parents who have to make tough choices every day to do the best they can for their families. Access to parental leave will be good for the City, for parents, and most of all, for children.”

Councilor Tim McCarthy said, “As a father of two, the bonding period between parents and a newborn is so important, and so is the bonding and support needed to strengthen the parents’ relationship during a happy but stressful time. This is the right ordinance for Boston and its families.”

Councilor Tito Jackson added, “Both men and women have important roles in the workforce and at home. This legislation will especially ease undue burden on working class families. I am so proud to collaborate with my fellow Councilors and Mayor Walsh, and I hope that this will serve as a model for both the private and public sectors to empower families.”

“When we work together, there aren’t many limitations on what we can do to make improvements in local government,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “It is important for parents to be engaged in a child’s early life. I am thankful that City Councilors are supportive of this initiative, to grant parents who devote their lives to public service the hard-earned support they deserve. My office is proud to support and introduce policies that advance both men and women in the workplace and all aspects of city life. It is my hope that businesses will consider taking the same action steps to ensure families are thriving and healthy.”

The ordinance would require the City to offer six weeks of paid leave for both mothers and fathers, with compensation at 100% of salary for the first two weeks, 75% of salary for the next two weeks, and 50% of salary for two additional weeks. Unlike the state law, which requires parents working for the same employer to share one leave period, the City would give parents who are both city employees individual leave periods to take concurrently or in any combination.

Approximately 178 countries worldwide offer some form of paid maternity leave, and over 50 offer paid paternity leave. The United States is one of only three countries that lacks a law requiring employers to fund parental pay, with the others being Oman and Papua New Guinea.

Councilor Wu gave birth to her first child in December. Councilor McCarthy is the father of two sons.