Lawmakers discuss potential for paid parental leave in Indianapolis

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April, 6, 2016) - Paid parental leave is a growing trend across the country. New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and California all have laws requiring paid leave for new parents.

On Tuesday, San Francisco became the first city in the nation to require employers to give six weeks paid parental leave, but could it happen in Indianapolis?

Lawmakers say it’s a great idea, but are unclear at this point if it can become a reality in Indianapolis.

Councilman Jeff Miller says any discussion on paid parental needs to be well thought out and local businesses need to be included in the conversation.

“It would take a lot of research on our part. You know it’s very early to say what would or wouldn’t work in Indianapolis, but what I do like is we have examples being put out there that we can look at, monitor,” said Councilman Miller.

In Indiana, parents can take up to 12 weeks off a year through the Family Medical Leave Act, but it's unpaid.

Parents say this could be big for all Hoosier families if it becomes a reality.

"My husband took a week vacation, so it would have been nice to have had him home helping me out. I wish we had that when I had my kids. It would have helped a ton," said Lesley Cahalan.

"I think just the bonding time and being able to spend time with that child. Even maybe get a head start on making sure you got them in the right daycare and that sort of thing. I mean that would definitely help if you had that amount of time," said parent Charlie Smith.

Some Indiana companies offer paid paternity leave, but for many working Hoosiers, that's rare. The state would have to be a part of the conversation as well.

Unless federal or state law says otherwise, it is illegal to require an employer to provide an attendance or leave policy.

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