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Bill allowing parents to take unpaid time off moves forward at capitol

Posted at 6:20 PM, Feb 12, 2017

DENVER -- A bill that provides more rights for working parents has been approved in the state house and is now on its way to the senate.

HB17-1001 allows parents to take unpaid leave to attend their kid's extracurricular activities and reenacts a 2009 bill that expired in 2015.

“I have a big responsibility out there to all the parents out there and the teachers and the students,” bill sponsor State Rep. Janet Buckner, D-Arapahoe County, told Denver7’s Nicole Brady on this week’s Politics Unplugged. “They want this bill to pass. They need this safeguard.  “

Under the bill, parents must provide one week's notice to their employer, and can only take six hours a month with a maximum of 18 hours a year.

It allows parents to attend activities like parent-teacher conferences, dropout prevention, and meetings related to special education or IEP's.

Brady asked why something like this needs to be legislated since many employers already give employees time off.

“The comments I heard from parents, the theme that kept coming back consistently is ‘I just don’t feel comfortable going to my employer to ask for time off,’” Buckner said. “Sometimes it’s a language barrier, sometimes the people don’t have a high level of education, they don’t feel comfortable. And this mandate, and it is a mandate, would give parents those parents the confidence they need to ask for time off.”

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Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4 p.m. on Denver7.

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