LANSING — State Rep. Brian Elder (D-Bay City) introduced House Bill 4425 today to make it easier for Michigan’s working parents to attend their children’s school-related activities. Under Elder’s bill, a parent or legal guardian would be allowed to take unpaid leave from their job in order to attend important scholastic events for their children, such as parent-teacher conferences, without risking their employment.

“When it comes to our kids, there are few things more critical than ensuring they’re successful and supported in school,” Elder said. “Every parent wants to be there for these important moments in their child’s life. It is a well-known fact how important it can be to a child’s academic success that their parents are able to be engaged. If parents are unable to take time off work to assume that role, we’re failing our students and jeopardizing the success of children and families in our communities. My people should not have to choose between providing for their families and being involved in their children’s lives.”

The bill’s introduction comes at a time of the year when parent teacher conferences are taking place in schools across the state, and many families are currently experiencing the problems this legislation aims to address. Those in traditionally working-class fields or jobs where there is little control over their schedule are often unable to take time for family commitments without putting their jobs in jeopardy. HB 4425 aims to eliminate that unfair choice by allowing parents to take up to eight hours of unpaid leave time per year.