Extended family leave for new parents would boost economy while addressing some of Oklahoma’s worst health rankings
Too many Oklahoma parents face an impossible choice – continue to work full-time and miss precious opportunities to bond with a new child, or leave work and put their finances and career at risk. Oklahomans shouldn’t face this choice. New parents should be able to take leave to bond with and care for a new child without putting their family’s future at risk.
Senate Bill 549, which has passed the Senate and is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow in the House Business, Commerce, and Tourism Committee, is a good first step in the modernization of family leave in Oklahoma. [UPDATE: SB 549 passed committee with a 14-0 vote and will next go to the full House.] Under federal law, most American workers are allowed 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, and several states have provided further paid or unpaid leave. SB 549 would extend that to 20 weeks of unpaid leave for Oklahoma’s state employees.
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