S.B. 207 – Paid Leave Amendments sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler, R- Woods Cross, seeks to grant paid parental leave for all state employees. The bill includes 3 weeks of paid leave for both mothers and fathers for the birth or adoption of a child. In addition, the bill grants 3 weeks of paid medical leave for birth mothers.
UPEA has supported the implementation of paid parental leave throughout previous sessions. During the 2018 General Session, UPEA representative Kendle Zdunich testified in favor of H.B. 156 stating, “the parental leave benefit would further the concept of work/life balance.” However, prior parental leave bills have stalled in early stages, in large part, due to the potential unforeseen fiscal impacts. Numerous legislators stated that they supported paid parental leave in theory, however, the lack of quantitative research halt its progress.
Throughout this session, recruitment and retention problems have been a recurring theme for state agencies. A Paid Parental Leave benefit would enhance the total compensation package, especially for Tier II employees and new recruits. S.B. 207 proposes an alternative benefit option from past bills in attempt to identify the specific impacts and benefits to the state. If passed, this bill serves as a starting point for paid parental leave in the state.