Park City School District could offer paid maternity, paternity leave | ParkRecord.com

Park City School District could offer paid maternity, paternity leave

Park City School District employees bringing home a new child may soon be eligible for paid leave.

The Park City Board of Education recently voted unanimously to post Policy 7070, which would update the maternity and paternity leave standards. The Board still needs to vote to adopt it for the policy to go into effect.

With the policy change, fathers and mothers would be allowed 30 days of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child or children. In the past, mothers could have used up to 30 days of unpaid leave, which were deducted from their earned sick leave. Employees who were not the birth mother could request up to 10 workdays of leave following the birth or adoption of a child.

In the new policy, sick days remain for district employees.

Andrew Caplan, president of the Board, said that the district decided to consider altering the policy in order to be "good employers."

"It was brought to our attention that the district didn't have a maternity and paternity benefit," he said. "We wanted to give the parents who are teaching our kids and working in our district the ability to spend time with their children."

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He said that there are about five to seven employees who take leave to take care of a new child each year. Todd Hauber, business administrator for the district, said that the estimated cost to the district is $66,600 based on an average of six events per school year.

When the Board discussed the policy at its meeting last month, Board member Anne Peters said that the paid maternity and paternity leave was "phenomenal" and she is glad that the district is considering it.

Melissa Perry, a math teacher at Park City High School, told the Board at the meeting that she was proud of its initiative to change the policy.

"I'd feel even more valued as a working mother living in Park City by the district if this new policy were to pass," she said.

She said that it would reduce the financial hardships often placed on teachers after the birth of a child. Plus, she said that some teachers have not accumulated enough sick days to be able to take off the necessary time, especially when it is their second or third child.