Up to 12 weeks paid parenting leave for King County employees

Going Seattle one better, the Metropolitan King County Council on Monday adopted a new county policy providing county employees 12 weeks’ paid parenting leave for a birth, adoption or new foster care placement in the family.

Hague

King County Council member Hague: “A landmark action not only for

King County but for those who work here.”

The plan allows triple the time off of a recent, four-week paid leave policy adopted with fanfare by Seattle.

“As one of the top ten employers in the state of Washington, King County has an obligation to lead and be a model employer,” said King County Council member Rod Dembowski.

“Paid parental leave is not only the right thing to do for parents and kids, but as the private sector has demonstrated, it’s also fiscally responsible as it aids in recruitment and retention of valuable employees.”

The Council acted on the same day that King County Executive Dow Constantine outlined a new county-sponsored early development plan entitled Best Starts for Kids.

The plan puts emphasis on early prevention and intervention strategies, in words of King County’s announcement, “based on the latest brain science.”

It will be, as Seattle and King County voters have come to expect, taxing. Constantine said he will ask for a six year property tax levy lid increase of 14 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. It translates to $55-60 for an average King County home. The expected yield is $56 million.

The paid leave police was hailed by Jane Hague, a Republican on the officially non-partisan County Council, as “a landmark action not only for King County but for those who work here.”

The Council has instructed Constantine to sweat the details and draw up a work plan. The paid leave policy will take effect on later than January 1, 2016.

In a generous mood, the County Council also wants to develop a paid leave policy when serious illness strikes the immediate family of a county employee.

The state’s most populous county employs more than 14,000 people.

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