Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill that would require businesses and state and local government employers to allow their employees to take unpaid leave to attend a biannual parent-teacher meeting.
Curtis Valentine, executive director of the Maryland Campaign for Achievement Now, a public school reform organization, said at a Senate finance hearing earlier this month that parents shouldn’t “be choosing between a parent-teacher conference and keeping a job.”
Senate Bill 329 requires employees to notify their employer at least three days before using unpaid leave to attend a parent-teacher meeting, according to the legislation.
Maryland Department of Legislative Service analysts estimated that between 40 and 50 percent of the state's 90,000 employed individuals would be eligible for up to 16 hours of unpaid leave under the bill.
Some small businesses may face increased overtime costs and other costs associated with decreased work time, according to the analysis, which did not specify the extent that the benefit was already available to workers.
Employees would not be allowed to use the unpaid leave more than twice per each half of the academic year, according to the proposal.
As of 2009, 12 states have legislation regarding statutory leave to attend school and/or daycare functions and conferences, according to Employment Practices Solutions, a human resources consulting firm headquartered in Southlake, TX.