CHICAGO  — Effective Jan. 1, 2023, all city employees will receive up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave regardless of whether they are the birthing or non-birthing parent, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday.

The city mayor, alongside the Department of Human Resources, agreed with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees to expand the city’s paid parental leave policy. 

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Employees will receive 100% of their pay for up to the entirety of the 12 weeks if they have worked for the city for at least 12 months before taking leave. Employees must have also worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the leave.  

Lightfoot said that the policy, which had not been revised since 2011 and only provided up to six weeks of leave, was reexamined due to the effects of the coronavirus.

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“The pandemic taught us many important lessons, two of which are that families need help now more than ever, and unpaid care work is a detriment to our labor market,” Lightfoot said. “Ensuring parents have time to bond with their new child, heal from birth, and receive their wages will have long-lasting positive impacts on our employees and city. I call on my colleagues in the private sector to join me in offering this critical benefit, which undeniably builds equity within our workforce.”  

The policy applies to new parents via birth, adoption, foster care, or surrogate.