Lawmakers, unions moving forward with fixes to family leave for feds

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have introduced legislation to make needed fixes to paid parental leave for federal employees—passed after years of effort by federal unions and other labor advocates in December of last year.

When Congress passed the Paid Parental Leave law it failed to include a number of types federal employee. Employees from the Federal Aviation Administration, for example, as well as certain employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Transportation Security Administration and others. Now, a bipartisan group of lawmakers on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform—led by its chair, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), and member Rep. Carol Miller (R-W.Va.)—are working to get these feds included under the law’s terms.

“We are very grateful for the bipartisanship of the committee to fix this provision in the law, especially on behalf of our members who work at the FAA and the VA,” Randy Erwin, National Federation of Federal Employees, said in a press release supporting the fix. “Paid parental leave ensures that federal employees will not have to forgo a paycheck to stay home with a new child. This common sense, family-friendly provision was long overdue in the federal government.”

Paid family leave for feds goes into effect on Oct. 1, and will provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a new child—or the taking on of a new foster child.

Even as the new additions gain momentum, another controversy brews. NFFE—along with other backers of the benefit—has criticized the White House for backing the legislation, but recently trying to curtail its scope. The administration’s leadership at the Office of Personnel Management are currently advocating that paid leave be cut back in the case of foster children—and in the event that two parents of a new child are feds, only one 12-week period of paid leave be permitted. 

Reader comments

Thu, Mar 5, 2020 David Los Angeles

Does anyone know more about how it works? What percentage of pay is proposed? Is the 12 weeks full pay?

Thu, Mar 5, 2020

Is annual and sick leave being scaled back? for those with children? What about those that won't have children? How about increasing annual leave for everyone (or not)/let people manage their resources and choices.

Tue, Mar 3, 2020

Why were these feds left out in the first place?

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