A Missoula city committee took a step toward enabling greater flexibility with paid parental leave for city employees during a meeting Wednesday afternoon.
The committee voted unanimously to rescind an earlier motion that provided only paid pregnancy-related leave to people who are pregnant or recently gave birth to a child. Calling that provision inequitable, city councilors endeavored to broaden the applicability of paid parental leave.
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Councilors Heidi West in Ward 1, Stacie Anderson in Ward 5 and Mike Nugent in Ward 4 spearheaded the paid parental leave effort.
“Families come in all shapes and sizes,” Anderson said.
Rescinding the earlier motion creates an avenue to provide paid parental leave to parents who don’t give birth to their child or those who adopt. Council members on Wednesday asked about flexibility in the future parental leave policy, and staff assured them there could be considerable versatility in the program.
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“Every parent, every new child deserve the opportunity to bond,” asserted Nugent. He cited the example of a same-sex couple that was not eligible for paid parental leave because