House Representatives Maloney, Hoyer, Connolly, Introduce Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave ActTuesday, February 15, 2011
(National Federation of Federal Employees)
Last week, House Representatives Carolynn Maloney (D-NY), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Gerald Connolly (D-VA) introduced the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act, a bill to extend four weeks of paid leave to parents of newly born, adopted or fostered children.
Under present law, new parents are entitled to up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave. While they may elect to use accrued annual or sick leave to supplement their salaries during their absence, many must choose between a paycheck and caring for their newborn child.
During these tough economic times it is more important than ever that the federal government take a strong stand on providing new parents with adequate leave. With home values plummeting, health care costs soaring, and family members often out of a job, federal employees are feeling the economic pinch just as much as other Americans. To go for weeks at a time without pay could mean disaster for some families.
With a retirement wave expected to hit the federal workforce in the coming years, it is essential that the government remain competitive to attract the next generation of doctors, intelligence analysts, and scientists. Many private sector companies and foreign governments provide a similar benefit to their employees, leaving the government behind the curve.
“With federal pay more than 20 percent lower than private sector salaries, the federal government will have a much better chance of recruiting and maintaining a quality workforce by passing the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act,” said NFFE Legislative Director Randy Erwin. “In order to remain competitive with the private sector, the federal government must begin to adopt more family-friendly workplace.”