Metro employees now have the option of paid family leave, a benefit that has been promoted by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.
The plan was approved unanimously Tuesday by the Civil Service Commission and goes into effect immediately.
The benefit allows Metro workers to have around six weeks of paid time off upon the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for a seriously ill spouse, parent or children. It is available to employees who have worked for Metro government for at least six months. There previously was no paid family leave of any kind.
“No parent, spouse, son or daughter should have to choose between providing care to their loved ones in their time of need or being forced to go without pay or quit their job,” said Mayor Megan Barry in a news release. “Paid family leave will help to ensure our Metro employees don’t have to make that choice while also helping Metro government recruit and retain great public servants.”
Metro Council recommended a study on paid family leave last year, and Barry, a progressive Democrat, promoted it in her State of Metro address in April.
Barry’s office worked with her Council on Gender Equity to research and make recommendations on paid family leave.
“We hope this action will encourage others in the region, and the rest of the country, to follow suit,” said Elizabeth Gedmark, director of A Better Balance’s Southern office who serves on the Council on Gender Equity.
The Metro Human Resources Department will gather more data on the new policy to do a cost-benefit analysis that will help in future budgeting, the news release said.