Boston City Councilors Lydia Edwards and Michelle Wu have filed an ordinance that would codify the recent change to City policy expanding paid parental leave for city employees from six weeks to 12 weeks.
The ordinance would also replace the word “stillbirth” in the policy with “loss of pregnancy” to encompass any situation in which someone has lost a pregnancy regardless of how that loss came to pass.
“These amendments codify a modernized paid parental leave policy into law and expand protections for City of Boston employees to take either partial or full paid parental leave,” said Councilor Edwards. “Policies can be good, but they can also be easily changed. This would ensure city workers have these protections in place for good. I’m excited to have this conversation and move our city forward.”
“Six years ago, as a new City Councilor and a new mom, I was proud to introduce Boston’s first ever paid parental leave ordinance,” said Councilor Wu. “Our leadership at the city level set the standard for employers throughout Boston and pushed momentum for protections at the state level. Today, I’m excited to join Councilor Edwards in proposing to go further—to codify the city’s expansion for twelve weeks of paid leave into law and expand the city’s leave policy for anyone facing a loss of pregnancy for whatever reason, including miscarriage or termination. Our city must be a place of compassion where every person has the time off they need for their emotional, economic and mental health.”
The proposal was praised by NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts executive director Rebecca Hart Holder.
“For many families and pregnant people, pregnancy loss can bring unimaginable pain and grief. Supporting people coping with pregnancy loss by allowing them to take the time they need to grieve and heal is critically important. Reproductive freedom is the ability to decide if, when, and how to have a family and for those who experience pregnancy loss, it is the ability to mourn and care for themselves and their family. We applaud Councilor Edwards and Councilor Wu for embracing the full-spectrum of reproductive freedom and creating a policy that will ensure greater equity for women and pregnant people,” said Rebecca Hart Holder, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. The ordinance was formally introduced during Wednesday’s council meeting and assigned to a committee for a hearing to be held.