Utah lawmakers place paid parental leave bill on hold

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SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah)- The House Business and Labor Committee voted 11 to 1 to hold the “Family Leave Amendments” bill Thursday.

The bill would grant six weeks, or up to 240 hours of paid parental leave ,for state employees in the executive branch and state higher education, technical colleges, and board of education employees. Sponsor of the bill, Rep. Elizabeth Weight said it is needed for the state to remain competitive.

“Utah cares about family values. We need to enact legislation that upholds those values. Parental is an essential part of the healthy development of a newborn, the well-being of mothers, and the critical involvement of fathers in the raising of children,” bill sponsor Rep. Elizabeth Weight said.

Under the bill, employees would be eligible to receive sustained pay during leave after a year of full-time employment. Those who take the leave would be assured of returning to the same or equivalent position.

Rep. Weight said parental leave reduces turnover and dramatically reduces retraining costs.

“We shouldn’t force mothers and fathers to choose between their children and their employment,” she said.

The LDS Church, our military, Salt Lake City, and RioTinto have recently adopted paid parental leave provisions, she said.

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