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Workforce

New bill would expand paid parental leave benefit

Most federal employees with one year of service will qualify for 12 weeks of paid parental leave after the birth, adoption or fostering of a child under a provision included in the most recent National Defense Authorization Act. Previously feds who wanted to take such leave had to rely on accrued vacation time, donated leave or else forgo pay.

The bill didn't cover everyone employed on full-time basis by the federal government. Workers outside the reach of Title 5 of U.S. code, including some employees at the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration and in the Washington, D.C. courts.

To remedy that, the House Oversight Committee’s Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Member Rep. Carol Miller (R-W. Va.) announced the Federal Employee Parental Leave Technical Correction Act. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced an identical bill in the Senate on Dec. 18. Senate Democrats tried and failed to pass the bill last year via unanimous consent.

The bill would strike language in Title 5 that prevented certain workers from accessing paid parental leave.

"This year, more than 2 million federal employees received a guarantee of 12 weeks' paid leave for the birth, fostering, or adoption of a child. The legislation we are introducing today will ensure that even more federal employees no longer need to choose between their paychecks or being home with their new child," Maloney said in a statement.

The new benefit takes effect Oct. 1, 2020, according to guidance from the Office of Personnel Management.

Reader comments

Wed, Feb 19, 2020

So who is going to cover their work while they are gone? Oh I see those of us whose kids are grown and who do not have any. They can use their annual or sick leave, but oh wait they will need all that for all those sick kid days too. Give me a break!

Wed, Feb 19, 2020

Can we get 12 weeks to take care of elderly parents? They can require as much,if not more care than a newborn.

Tue, Feb 18, 2020

So does it count if I adopt a new puppy? this is a waste of money. others for years have worked this out. this generation is pitiful and helpless unable to wipe their own noses with out excessive, expensive hand holding.

Fri, Feb 14, 2020

Does this mean both parents have the 12 weeks (or 24 weeks per couple)? Is this something that is tacked on to the annual leave for every employee?

Fri, Feb 14, 2020 Teresa Matsushita

I think this is outrageous for 12 weeks and with pay!! Call me old fashion but this just doesn’t sit right. They should take their own leave first!!

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