Senator Bert Johnson

Wayne County: Detroit, Highland Park, Hamtramck, Harper Woods and all five Grosse Pointe Communities

Senator Johnson Introduces Legislation to Ensure Parents Can Be More Involved With Children

Family Education Leave Act would ease burden of parenting while maintaining employment

LANSING – Today, Senator Bert Johnson (D-Detroit) introduced the Family Education Leave Act which would provide unpaid leave for employees to attend academic activities of their children and to prohibit discrimination against employees who request or use the leave.

“There is wide agreement that more parental involvement is a key factor in improving our children's prospects for a successful education,” Johnson said. “Too many parents, however, cannot afford to take any time off of work to attend parent-teacher conferences and other educational activities for their children. This bill provides a common-sense approach to relieve that burden.”

The bill would require an employer to allow each of his or her employees who is a parent or legal guardian of a minor child to request and take unpaid leave, not to exceed 10 hours for each child in any one academic year, for the purpose of attending an academic activity for or with the child. The bill also states that an employer shall not discharge, threaten, or otherwise discriminate against an employee because he or she requests or takes leave under this act.

“This is a family-focused approach to improving education in Michigan,” Johnson said. “Parent-teacher conferences are vital to a student's development and academic success. They allow parents to learn of any challenges their child might be having, while the teacher can be made aware of any circumstances at home that might affect in-class performance or behavior.”