Pima County Approves Paid Parental Leave for Employees

Policy Gives Employees Six Weeks of Leave to Bond with Children

Today, Pima County became the first county in Arizona to provide its employees with paid parental leave for mothers and fathers of newborns or newly adopted babies.

The policy, adopted on a 3-2 vote of the Board of Supervisors, gives employees who are new parents up to six weeks of leave, paid at 66 percent of their regular salary, to bond with their babies.
Supervisor Richard Elías argued for the approved policy, a compromise between what the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) sought and other proposals that were under consideration. The 66-percent figure matches Pima County’s short-term disability payments to eligible workers.
Joining Supervisor Elías in approving the parental-leave policy were fellow Democrats Ramón Valadez and Chair Sharon Bronson. Republican Board Members Ray Carroll and Ally Miller voted no.

Pima County is the second public entity in Arizona to adopt a parental-leave leave policy. The University of Arizona has a parental-leave program for its faculty and staff members. Many countries, other public entities in the United States, and a host of private employers offer parental leave.

Elías, who led the charge for the parental-leave policy, noted that he was able to take only four days off from his job when he and his wife, Emily, adopted their infant daughter more than two decades ago.

The policy takes effect July 1, 2016.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Supervisor Elías, please contact Keith Bagwell at 520-724-8723, or at
keith.bagwell@pima.gov