The city of Minneapolis is researching paid parental leave for its employees.
City workers currently are not compensated for time off after the birth of a child unless they use accumulated leave. Many companies offer paid parental leave, and the city of St. Paul will provide the benefit to its employees starting in January.
In Minneapolis, city staff are evaluating how much the practice would cost and plan to report those findings in coming months. Minneapolis employs roughly 3,500 full-time workers.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges noted St. Paul's upcoming policy when she introduced the issue at a Wednesday meeting of the city's Executive Committee. New mothers working for St. Paul will receive four weeks of paid time off. Others, including fathers and adoptive parents, will be paid for two weeks.
City Council President Barbara Johnson said she wants Minneapolis to explore its options because childbirth presents major challenges to working families.
"If you use up all your sick leave when you're on maternity leave, new parents know that babies have issues," she said. "So there are challenges going forward with small children."
Minneapolis also needs to look into paid parental leave to keep up with other cities and the private sector, City Council member Elizabeth Glidden said.
"There's a competitive issue here — what is happening around the country, what is happening in the region," Glidden said. "It's not just St. Paul."