NTEU urges Congress to provide paid parental leave for feds
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Jul 26, 2018
National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon testified this week at a subcommittee hearing examining paid parental leave, where he expressed to lawmakers the importance of providing the benefit to federal employees.
"[F]ederal agencies lag far behind the private sector and are finding it increasingly difficult to attract younger workers, who see this benefit as a crucial part of their compensation,” Reardon said at the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy hearing, “Examining the Importance of Paid Family Leave for American Working Families” on July 11.
Federal employees are eligible to receive 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child under the Family and Medical Leave Act, but Reardon contends that many federal employees can't afford to take weeks of leave without pay.
“While the FMLA has played a vital role for workers, we continue to believe that no federal employee should be forced to choose between a paycheck and caring for the newest member of the family,” he said in his written testimony.
According to Reardon, research has shown that the federal government could significantly reduce departures of young female employees by offering paid parental leave, which would save millions of dollars in turnover costs because first-time mothers with paid leave are more likely to return to work.
“In addition, paid parental leave can lead to increased productivity, better morale and reduced absenteeism,” he said, adding, “And, federal agencies need to offer paid parental leave benefits, given that during the last ten years, almost every major U.S. corporation has instituted and expanded paid parental leave policies.”
Read his full testimony here.