Major metro Atlanta city votes to offer paid maternity leave

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Major metro Atlanta city votes to offer paid maternity leave

The Marietta City Council voted Wednesday to approve an ordinance granting paid maternity leave to city employees.

The ordinance says full-time employees who have been employed with the city of Marietta for at least one year are eligible to receive up to four weeks of paid maternity leave after giving birth to a child.

The ordinance, which was adopted as part of the budget for the 2017 fiscal year, goes into effect immediately.

"There's never the wrong time to do the right thing for city employees," Stuart Fleming, the Marietta councilman who originally proposed the ordinance, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I think it's a great step for working women."

Fleming said he hopes offering paid leave will make the city more competitive when attracting workers.

Women make up less than a quarter of the city's workforce. Half of the city's 163 female employees earn less than $40,000 a year, according to Fleming.

"I don't know if any Fortune 500 company that does not allow for some kind of paid time off," Fleming said. "Obviously the private sector has it all figured out."

The city of Marietta is the second municipality in metro Atlanta to approve of paid maternity leave. The city of Atlanta offers employees paid leave for primary care givers and non-care givers.

Fleming said his original proposal also asked for paid paternity leave and paid leave for adoptions, but those requests were not included in the adopted ordinance.

"We'll see how this plays out," he said. "It's open to dicussion in the future."

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