Office of Business Opportunity

New Parent Friendly Employer Designation

Join the City of Houston in Making History By Earning the New Parent Friendly Employer Designation

Houston takes the lead in Paid Parental Leave policy for City employees
Marking a historic day in the city of Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner and City Council unanimously approved a paid parental leave policy for municipal employees on April 13, 2022.

With this policy, eligible employees can request paid parental leave instead of relying only on saved vacation time or unpaid leave such as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) after the birth or adoption of a child. The policy also applies equally to any parent regardless of gender and to any parent regardless of marital status.

How your business can pledge the same parent-friendly benefits for employees
Businesses in the City of Houston that provide these important benefits to their employees will be awarded the New Parent Friendly Employer Designation and celebrated annually. Partner with the City of Houston and the Houston Women's Commission (.pdf).

To earn the designation, complete the form below and share a copy of your company’s policies for Prenatal, Parental, and Infant Wellness Leave. The amount of paid time you provide should match or exceed that provided by the City of Houston.

Why should my business institute or maintain a parent-friendly policy?

"As we work to build a 21st-century workforce, we must remain competitive and responsive to working families' needs. This policy, along with other progressive measures we are taking designed to capitalize on technology, creates a better work environment and paves the way for the city of Houston to lead the way in being a good place to work, stay and retire,"

-- Mayor Sylvester Turner

  • Parent-friendly policies assist in recruitment and retention, making you a more competitive and attractive employer.
  • These policies allow parents time to bond, rest, and heal.
  • Prenatal and infant wellness leave is critical to public health and to the health of your employees (for a non-complicated pregnancy, the minimum number of physician visits recommended is 12-14; a woman should see her physician at least 2 times within 60 days of birth; and babies should see a pediatrician at least 8 times during their first year of life.
  • They assist with rising healthcare costs associated with childbirth. In 2019, the average out of pocket cost of childbirth in the United States was about $4,500 with insurance
  • There is a direct correlation between paid parental leave and reduced infant deaths
  • Paid parental leave results in increased breastfeeding rates, fewer infancy and childhood hospitalizations, and increased parental involvement.
  • Mothers with paid parental leave demonstrate lower incidences of postpartum depression than those without paid leave.
  • More information about the benefits of parent-friendly programs

Watch: Mayor Sylvester Turner, city council members and HOPE and SEIU representatives discuss the recently passed parental leave policy for municipal workers.