On Thursday, February 22nd, H.B. 156 Family Leave Amendments by Rep. Weight (D), was heard in the House Business and Labor Committee. H.B. 156 allows Executive Branch and Higher Education employees to use 240 hours of paid parental leave based on the birth or adoption of the eligible employee’s child. The leave would run concurrent with the Family Medical Leave Act.
Weight explained that “there is a growing trend for businesses to provide parental leave” and she believes that offering this leave to state employees will keep us in line with what the private sector is offering. Weight also quoted a statement from a current state employee that said this bill makes the statement that men and women can be brave in pursuing a family, and not worried about choosing between a job and family. Utah is known for having a “primary interest in families and children” and this bill would only further that idea.
UPEA testified in support of this bill, stating that “the parental leave benefit would further the concept of work/life balance.” After discussion and several public comments, the bill was held in committee due to fiscal uncertainties.