Monday, June 8, 2009

Governor Ritter Signs Parental Involvement Bill

Workers Get Job-Protected Leave to Attend Parent-Teacher Conferences

One June 2, Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law a bill (HB09-1057) that allows parents to take time off from their jobs in order attend parent/teacher conferences and other academic activities.

“We’ve known for years that parental involvement can make the difference between a student succeeding and a student failing. Now we’re actually doing something to help parents help students succeed,” said Lorena Garcia, Lead Organizer of 9to5 Colorado, the organization which led the charge on the bill.
The bill is modest in its scope. It allows employees of Colorado businesses to take up to 18 hours per academic year of leave to attend academic activities. It only applies to businesses with 50 or more employees. The leave is limited to 6 hours per month and the employer may require that the leave be taken in increments of 3 hours or less. Parents are required to provide employers with at least one week’s notice of leave, except in an emergency. Employers may require written verification of the reason for the leave. Part-time employees accrue their leave at the percentage rate of full-time hours they work (For example, if an employee works 20 hours per week, s/he receives half of the leave time received by a full-time employee.)
“This is a reasonable measure that allows working parents limited time off from their jobs to make this critical contribution to their children’s education,” said Garcia. “Our economy depends on a well-educated workforce, but many students in Colorado have not had adequate access to their most important education resource – their parents. Now they will.”
Twelve other states (CA, GA, HI, IL, LA, MA, MN, NV, NC, RI, TX, VT)  and the District of Columbia have laws on their books providing for school-related leave for working parents.

Polling shows that 69% of Colorado adults support the idea of ensuring that all working parents have access to such leave.

For More information please contact the 9to5 Colorado office: 303-628-0925 or

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