These Are The Progressive Changes Happening In The Mormon Church

Paid parental leave and pantsuits for women — these are just some of the progressive changes coming for Mormon church employees.

One of the largest employers in the Beehive state has recently made some rather key announcements to its employees.   The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is making some huge changes for its workers by revising what some would see as outdated policies.

The LDS Church will finally provide paid parental and maternity leave, so now mothers who give birth (or adopt) will get an extra week of leave to bond with their child.  According to the Oakland Press, until just two years ago when an LDS woman gave birth or had children under 18-years-old  they were prohibited from teaching full-time seminary classes in high school or Institutes of Religion at colleges.

Former church employee Charlotte Keneipp says she worked alongside a lot of mothers who found the old policy of the church somewhat challenging.

"A lot of my friends just left employment after they had their babies," Keneipp said.

She’s excited about the change and glad to see the Mormon church is now giving their employees a healthy work-life balance.

One anonymous employee said, “The new policy represents a significant step toward bringing our practices into greater alignment with our values." He added that the previous policy “emphasized the value of baby-bonding time, but provided no support beyond the standard paid time off.”

Other new benefits for the full-time workers include short-term disability pay and a gym inside  the church office building on Temple Square.

LDS Office Headquarters in Temple Square

Even the dress code has been loosened up a bit.  Women can now wear dress pants if they choose to, and men will be able to wear shirts with a bit more color in them and leave behind suit jackets if the weather is too hot. 

Mormon apostle Quentin L. Cook gave his explanation of the changes in a statement “I would hope that Latter-day Saints would be at the forefront in creating an environment in the workplace that is more receptive and accommodating."

These policies are a great step forward for the church, and hopefully will lead to more progressive action. 

Banner/thumbnail image credit:Flickr user Peretz Partensky

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