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Coleman to speak about St. Paul’s paid parental leave policy at White House meeting

Coleman speaks today on a panel in D.C., and will discuss St. Paul’s new paid parental leave policy for city employees, which went into effect this month.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is speaking in Washington, D.C., today about St. Paul’s new paid parental leave policy for employees.

Coleman is part of a White House panel called: “Expanding Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Efforts to Better Support Working Families.” Mayors from around the country will be in the audience.

Coleman is in Washington for the winter meetings of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

St. Paul’s new policy, which went into effect this month, provides four weeks of paid leave to birth mothers and two weeks paid leave to “non-birthing employee parents.” Employees who adopt children would also be given two weeks of paid leave.

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President Obama has proposed new federal funding that would encourage states to develop more such paid family and medical leave programs.

Also on this afternoon’s panel with Coleman are: U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Tina Tchen, who is Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff and Executive Director of the Council on Women and Girls.

Afterwards, Coleman is scheduled to meet with cabinet and senior White House officials in the East Room, and “to hear remarks from the President,” Coleman’s staff said.

The St. Paul paid parental leave program was expected to cost about $200,000 a year, and Coleman had said it would be an important factor in hiring and retaining employees.

“Our workforce is changing dramatically,” Coleman said when proposing the plan. “And one of the ways that it is changing is a real demand from our young employees that when they do have a baby — whether they have a birth child or adopt a child — that they have the ability to get that child off to the right start.”