Wednesday, March 1, 2017
The new policy will allow staff to take up to 12 weeks of qualified paid time off to care for a sick family member, bond with a new child, or for their own personal health reasons.
The reasons allowed for taking family leave mirror the reasons found in the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
FMLA mandates 12 weeks of unpaid leave for all eligible public- and private-sector employees per year. It guarantees that employees can keep their jobs and their health care while they are on leave. It does not require employers to compensate employees during their time off.
Previously, City policy allowed staff to use any accrued sick and vacation time to cover the days in which they used FMLA. However, once the staff member used the accrued leave, any additional time off under FMLA would be unpaid.
The new supplemental paid family leave will allow City staff to fill the gap when they have insufficient sick and/or vacation leave to cover the full 12 weeks and maintain a two weeks leave balance. City Council approval of the supplemental paid leave policy provides leadership in establishing a progressive employment benefit.
“We don’t believe City staff should have to choose between compensation and taking care of their family,” stated Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts. “Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is also a good business decision as it will help attract and retain a dedicated, professional workforce.”