- Associated Press - Thursday, January 7, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - Mayor Bill de Blasio is signing a personnel order that provides paid parental leave to approximately 20,000 New York City employees.

The Democratic mayor made the order official Thursday in a news conference in the City Hall rotunda complete with cheering crowds and crying babies.

The leave will apply to birth parents as well as to workers who adopt children or become foster parents.

The benefit will be available to city employees who are not represented by a union.

Previously, those workers didn’t have paid parental leave and were forced to use sick days and vacation days.

Administration officials urged the city’s much larger unionized workforce, numbering about 300,000 employees, to adopt the benefit through collective bargaining.

The city’s leave policy is now among the most generous in the nation.

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