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Who should pay for prenatal health care and insurance coverage is just one point of debate that has emerged as Obamacare opponents work to chip away at essential health benefits. File photo by Getty Images

San Francisco now the first U.S. city to require paid parental leave

San Francisco became the first U.S. city on Tuesday to pass a measure requiring employers to provide six weeks of fully paid parental leave for new parents.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the new law Tuesday, building on the benefits already mandated by a small group of states, including New York, which ushered in its own paid family leave policy on Monday.

In addition to New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey and California currently offer partial pay for parental leave, with the Golden State allowing workers to receive 55 percent of their pay for up to six weeks, paid by a worker-funded state insurance program.

Tuesday’s enacted policy, however, mandates full pay, requiring employers with at least 20 workers to make up the difference.

Businesses with 50 or more employees must comply by January 2017. Those with at least 20 workers have until January 2017 to comply. The new policy affects mothers and fathers, including same-sex couples, of newborns.

San Francisco’s policy followed several tech giants, like Netflix and Amazon out of Silicon Valley, that have implemented far more generous parental leave policies than the federal standard of up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in the U.S.


The U.S. is the only major industrialized nation that doesn’t provide fully paid leave for new parents.

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