Official Press Release from Council Member Corazón Pineda-Isaac
Yonkers City Councilmember Corazón Pineda-Isaac (D-2) today announced the introduction of a resolution which aims to expand paid family leave benefits for City employees. Currently, the City of Yonkers offers a limited number of paid days off for City employees not represented by a union, and the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) only provides for unpaid leave. The Councilmember’s Resolution is aimed at extending the duration of fully paid leave as well as expanding eligibility to more City employees.
“Like many working people, our city’s employees feel the stress of trying to meet their work and family responsibilities, and face financial hardships when their only option is to take unpaid family leave,” said Councilmember Pineda-Isaac. “The City of Yonkers has made few accommodations for the impact this has on families and it’s long overdue for the Mayor to act. Yonkers is behind the times and we need to catch up.”
Earlier this year, Governor Kathy Hochul launched an initiative to offer fully paid parental leave benefits to New York State employees that would result in 10,000 unrepresented State employees becoming eligible to receive 12 weeks of fully paid leave to use for bonding with a newborn, fostered, or adopted child. The City of Yonkers has not followed suit, leaving its non-unionized employees without the same parental leave benefits that will now be offered at the State level.
“Life’s conflicting demands are even more acute at the birth or adoption of a child, or when a child, spouse, or domestic partner or parent has a serious illness,” said Councilmember Pineda-Isaac. “Women frequently are the primary caretakers within their immediate and extended families in addition to their participation in the paid labor force. Those who keep our city running each day should not be put in a position where they have to choose between a paycheck and caring for their family.”
“Paid parental leave is long overdue for employees of the City of Yonkers. Allowing paid time off to care for a newborn or a loved one is a fundamental best practice for employers in this day and age. I commend Councilmember Pineda-Isaac for championing this cause and bringing employment practices in the City of Yonkers into the 21st century”, said Eileen O’Connor, cofounder of NYCD16-Indivisible.
The City will investigate the costs and benefits associated with the implementation of such a policy, which may prove modest if funded through insurance as outline in the FMLA. Many employers already offer up to 12 weeks of paid family leave as a standard benefit to their employees. The City of Yonkers now has the opportunity to catch up with the times and reverse its backwards approach to paid family leave benefits for its employees. The City Council‘s Resolution calls upon Mayor Spano and his Administration to review and consider increasing and expanding paid family leave for employees of the City, so that they can finally be afforded the same basic paid leave benefits provided by many other employers.