As a mother, I understand how important it is for parents not to be punished for balancing family and career. Paid family leave should be the norm, and parents should have the power to advocate for flexible work schedules that allow them to further their careers while spending time with their children. St. Louis city policy requires employees to have worked at the job for 12 months before being able to apply for unpaid leave under the family and medical leave act. Additionally, the act states that if the employee is a “key employee,” he or she may lose their job if they must take family leave. An employer can also take five days to respond to a request – sometimes too long for an employee to wait.
During the pandemic, it was my number one job to work with my employees so they could have the flexibility to take care of their families and children at home with virtual school without fear of losing their jobs. This should be the norm in city government.
Cities and states across the country are beginning to address the problems that arise out of policies like these. St. Louis needs to be among them. New York State, Washington DC, and San Francisco, to name a few, have implemented visionary plans to address the need for paid family leave.
As mayor, I will work with the community, city departments, and the private sector to find the solution that fits St. Louisans’ needs.