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Maricopa County now offers paid leave to either parent of newborn or adopted children

Bill Gates
Bret Jaspers/KJZZ
Bill Gates

Maricopa County employees now have access to as much as six weeks of paid parental leave.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt the new policy on Wednesday, touting itself as one of the largest government sector employers in Arizona to offer paid leave to either parent.

“This is a great addition to the competitive benefits package already offered by the County,” said Chairman Bill Gates. “Having a baby or adopting a child can be a hectic time in a parent’s life. We know providing a reasonable amount of paid time off will help employees be better parents and better employees in the long run.”

Employees who’ve worked for Maricopa County for at least 12 months, and work at least 20 hours per week, are now offered 240 hours of paid leave over the course of the year. The time off can be used all at once or intermittently over 12 months.

Supervisors described the policy as a means of supporting existing employees, but also as a strong recruitment tool in a challenging labor market. 

“I hope that this will send the message to folks that Maricopa County is a pro-family place to work and that we want to support both, all the parents,” Gates said.

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Ben Giles is a senior editor at KJZZ.