Government affairs

Paid parental leave bill introduced in House

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has introduced the Federal Employee Paid Parental Leave Act (H. R. 532), legislation that would give both male and female federal workers six weeks of paid leave after the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child.

The bill does not cover letter carriers or other postal employees, as we negotiate over such leave.

Currently, federal employees are entitled to 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to care for a new child, but that leave is unpaid. The Paid Parental Leave Act would allow federal employees to preserve their accrued sick or annual leave and provide them with six of the 12 weeks of paid leave.

Maloney has proposed similar legislation during each Congress since 2000.

Introduction of the bill goes further than the Obama administration’s Jan. 15 executive order, which permits all federal employees to receive an advance of sick and annual leave to be used for leave connected with the birth or adoption of a child or for other sick leave eligible uses.

“You can count on one hand the number of countries that don’t provide paid leave for the birth of a child, and the United States is part of the club,” Maloney said. “Smart paid leave policies improve employee retention, boost productivity and more. The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act won’t require additional spending, but it will make a difference in the lives of millions of federal employees…who should not have to choose between a paycheck and the most important task a human being can take on: raising a child.”

Other original co-sponsors of the legislation include: Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

At present, a senate companion bill has not been introduced.


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