Employees who’ve worked for the city of Coral Gables for at least a year are now eligible for paid parental leave, giving them access to the same benefits provided in a few other South Florida municipalities.
The city commission approved the new law at the June 13 meeting and it will be available to full-time employees, regardless of gender, who have worked in the Gables for at least a year. Employees will be able to take six weeks of leave during the first three months after their child is born, adopted or placed with them through foster care.
“If we want to have the best talent, if we want to recruit the best talent, if we want to maintain the best talent, we need to be better on this front,” said Commissioner Michael Mena, who sponsored the ordinance.
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The leave has to be taken in a six-week block. Employees will receive their base salary for the first two weeks, 75 percent of their salary in the next two weeks and 50 percent of their salary in the final two weeks.
The new law does not keep employees from taking any other accrued sick leave or vacation time.
Mena said that he sees the six weeks as a baseline and hopes the city will consider expanding the maximum amount of leave in the future.
“If this goes well and we decide later that we want to add more time, we can and we should consider that,” Mena said.
Finance director Diana Gomez estimated that providing the paid leave will cost the city about $65,000 and at the high end could cost about $200,000.
This post has been updated.