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Nashville Adopts Paid Family Leave for Metro Workers

July 13, 2017

Advocates Tout Nashville’s Leadership for Working Families

On Tuesday, July 11, the Civil Service Commission voted unanimously to approve a paid family leave plan for Metro employees. The new benefit, effective immediately, will allow Metro workers to have approximately six weeks of paid time off upon the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for a seriously ill spouse, parent, or child. The benefit is available for employees who have worked for Metro Government for at least 6 months. Employees did not have access to any paid family leave plan prior to passage.

“No parent, spouse, son or daughter should have to choose between providing care to their loved ones in their time of need or being forced to go without pay or quit their job,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “Paid family leave will help to ensure our Metro employees don’t have to make that choice while also helping Metro government recruit and retain great public servants.”

Metro Council recommended Metro Government investigate the feasibility of creating a paid family leave benefit last year. Mayor Barry announced in her 2017 State of Metro Address that she would ask the Civil Service Commission to consider a paid family leave plan for city workers.

The Mayor’s Office worked with her Council on Gender Equity to research and make recommendations regarding paid family leave. Adoption of this program will allow the Metro Human Resources Department to gather more data on this policy in order to do a cost-benefit analysis that will help in future budgeting.

“We applaud Mayor Barry’s leadership on this critically important issue that will make a large impact on Metro workers and their families,” said Pat Shea, co-chair of the Council on Gender Equity.

“We have seen time and again how paid family leave allows workers to avoid the impossible choice between their income and taking care of their families,” said Elizabeth Gedmark, director of A Better Balance’s Southern office who serves on the Mayor’s Council on Gender Equity. “We hope this action will encourage others in the region, and the rest of the country, to follow suit.”

“This new benefit makes business sense for the city. Paid family leave promotes strong families. Strong families make stronger organizations and stronger communities,” said Ronald Roberts, CEO and managing partner of DVL Seigenthaler and co-chair of the Council on Gender Equity.

The Council on Gender Equity is co-chaired by Pat Shea and Ronald Roberts. The Council on Gender Equity Family Services Subcommittee, which focused on paid family leave in recent months, is co-chaired by Elizabeth Gedmark and Chris Sanders, and its other members include Maura-Lee Albert, Agenia Clark, Judy Cummings, Council Member Anthony Davis, and Billye Sanders.