City of Fort Worth

After ongoing efforts to make Fort Worth known as the Best Place for Kids® and The Best Place for Working Parents®*, Mayor Betsy Price championed the City of Fort Worth's efforts to implement a new parental leave policy available to all City of Fort Worth employees effective Oct. 1, 2020.


The effort was approved by the city manager and City Council after a 10-month listening process conducted by city management and human resources teams, who surveyed city employees and researched comparative human resources policies among municipalities across the country. Before now, the City of Fort Worth had no parental leave policy, including no formal maternity leave policy.

The Policy: Parental Leave

  • Annually, there are approximately 100 births among employees and employee spouses who access the city’s health insurance plan.
  • “As the city with the second-highest percentage of families with children in the nation, introducing this policy is not only the right thing to do, but the smart fiscal decision for the city long-term,” Price said.
  • This new benefit positions Fort Worth among other cities that have modernized their parental leave policy in recognition of the overall return on investment it makes for organizations when it comes to increasing productivity, attraction and retention of talent and overall job satisfaction among working parents.
  • The parental leave policy offers six weeks of paid leave for maternity or paternity leave and can also be applied to adoptions or “placements” of children in homes. The policy is paid in full and not based on tenure of the employee.

The Impact

“This benefit will positively impact the hundreds of families that didn’t have these supports in place and help us stay on the forefront of attracting quality, competitive candidates to meet the critical demands of running a city,” City Manager David Cooke said.

The Research

The city’s Human Resources Department worked with PFM Consulting on the leave study, using data and information from an employee focus group on the current leave structure. After analyzing the leave data, performing a cost analysis and modeling the effects of the various leave policy options, PFM Consulting highlighted the recommendations that were sustainable for the city using a 10-year forecasting model.

“In order to have strong businesses, we need healthy employees and healthy families. It’s important that we modernize our HR policies to reflect the needs of working parents, because if they aren’t supported with benefits that recognize their commitment to work and their family – there will be other companies that will provide that critical support.”

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