Feds nearly certain to get 12 weeks paid leave
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Dec 09, 2019
Federal employees across the government are finally lined up to gain a long-awaited benefit: decent paid parental leave.
Congress passed the provision in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act—one which will provide 12 weeks of paid parental leave, and specifically cover needed time for employees with a new birth or adoption, or with a new foster child.
Originally—in the early days of the provision—thought to apply in only a more limited sweep of employees, in the end the provision as written should provide the benefit to a wide berth of federal employees.
Federal employee unions spearheaded the pressure that led to the agreement—concluded at the end of last week from administration officials and lawmakers—to broaden the measure.
The American Federation of Government Employees, a key participant, expressed deep support for the move.
“AFGE has been fighting to provide all federal workers with paid family leave for decades, and the provision in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act is a large step in the right direction for full family leave,” National Secretary-Treasurer Everett Kelley said in a press release.
“The hard work by our members is finally beginning to pay off,” Kelley said. “This new paid benefit will help federal employees better balance their work and home lives, and it will give agencies a needed advantage when recruiting and retaining workers to carry out critical missions on behalf of our country.”
The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not offer its citizens some level of paid parental leave,” he continued. “This agreement is a watershed moment that sets the stage for achieving the ultimate goal of providing all American workers with paid family leave.
The National Federation of Federal Employees spoke out in equally celebratory terms.
“Congress after Congress, we pushed for a reasonable benefit to help federal workers care for their families in times of need,” Randy Erwin, NFFE National President, said in a press release. “Parental Leave was a priority during our legislative weeks, and our persistence paid off.”
Union backers expect the provision to remain in the bill, pass and get the president’s signature in the next week or so.