Government affairs

Legislative Updates

House and Senate introduce paid parental leave bill

Today, Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (S. 1174), a companion bill to identical legislation (H.R. 1534) introduced in the House by Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA), and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) in March.

The bill would provide twelve weeks of paid family leave for federal employees, guaranteed leave for all instances covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) but does not cover letter carriers or other postal employees, as we negotiate over such leave.

Currently, federal employees are entitled to twelve weeks of leave under the FMLA to care for a new child, but that leave is unpaid. The bill would allow federal employees to preserve their accrued sick or annual leave and provide them with six of the twelve weeks of paid leave.

Rep. Maloney has proposed similar legislation during each Congress since 2000, including the 115th Congress.

“Paid family leave for federal employees isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” said Rep. Maloney. “Paid family leave improves productivity, reduces turnover, boosts morale and attracts and retains more talent, which is exactly what our federal workforce deserves right now. We’re the only developed country in the world without some sort of paid leave policy. That needs to change.”

“It’s 2019. Everyone’s juggling work and family, but the policies haven’t changed with the times,” said Senator Schatz. “Our bill will provide federal workers with 12 weeks of paid leave, making sure no federal employee has to make the impossible choice between caring for their family and keeping their job.”

“I’m proud to stand with my colleagues and with advocates to introduce this bill, which is long overdue,” said Leader Hoyer. “Hardworking federal workers deserve paid parental leave to bond with their children and acclimate to parenthood.  Doing so benefits not only these employees and their families but also helps our nation recruit and retain the most competitive and talented workers into public service.”

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