Paid parental leave now law in San Francisco, where no one can afford a family


Starting a family in San Francisco just got sweeter — about 45% sweeter.

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Let us explain: On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pass a law requiring employers to pay 100% of an employee’s salary for six weeks following the addition of a new family member. 

Prior to this, businesses were required to pay new parent employees 55% of their wages. 

The new law puts San Francisco on the map as the only municipality in the country to mandate a fully paid parental leave. Sweet, right? 

Well, sweet if you can afford to live in San Francisco. We’re guessing this new, generous law won’t exactly result in a baby boom for the city.

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Here’s why: Finding a place to live is nearly impossible. Forbes reports that as of the fourth quarter of 2014, the vacancy rate was just 3.6 percent.

And if you’re lucky enough to find a place, you’ll have to pay an arm and a leg to be squished into a really small space — not ideal for welcoming a new baby.

According to a recent report, a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco runs an average of $3,590 a month.


But housing isn’t the city’s only cost-prohibitive factor to bringing a baby into the world.

An online cost-of-living calculator, which takes into account everything from what you spend on groceries to how much it costs to fill up the tank, gives the city’s prices an ‘F.’ Overall, it says San Francisco residents are paying 84% more than the national average to simply live.

And the bad news gets worse. San Francisco’s Office of Economic Analysis reports the new law could ‘increase the cost of hiring, slow job creation and replacement, and create negative multiplier effects in the local economy.’

All told, fully paid parental leave might not be worth the trip out West to start your future family. 

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