Earlier in January Governor Kathy Hochul announced a proposal to offer fully Paid Parental Leave benefits to New York State employees as part of her 2023 State of the State address, and State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. agrees with the Governor and appreciates her leadership on this issue for state employees, which is something he has been a big proponent of.
In the 2021-2022 legislative session, Addabbo introduced a bill (S.8211) which would require public employers who opt out of providing Paid Family Leave benefits to instead provide parental leave. Under Hochul’s initiative, unrepresented State workers will automatically receive 12 weeks of fully paid leave to use for bonding with a newborn, fostered, or adopted child as part of the Paid Family Leave program.
“Those first few months of a baby’s life are extremely important to both the health of the child and the parents, and it is essential that they all have time to bond and celebrate the gift of life without worrying about their income being negatively affected,” Addabbo said. “By providing State employees with 12 weeks of fully paid leave, they will have the ability to both be present during those crucial first month of a child’s development and be able to provide for their families financially.”
While this proposal is slightly different from Addabbo’s S.8211 bill, both were designed to provide New York State public employees with the benefits many in the private sector currently have. Giving employees robust benefits packages, including Paid Family Leave and Paid Parental Leave, leads to happier and healthier employees that look to stay at their positions with the State.
Governor Hochul will direct the Office of Employee Relations to institute this policy for all unrepresented employees as soon as possible, and will engage state unions to make progress toward this goal through collective bargaining.
“I’ve worked with Governor Hochul’s administration on paid leave issues before, like when she signed my bill into law that now includes siblings in the grouping of family members that you can take paid time off to care for in the Paid Family Leave law,” Addabbo added. “I look forward to working again with Governor Hochul and her team to make sure that New York State continues to lead the nation in keeping our public employees happy and healthy.”