Paid Parental Leave for Federal Workers
The federal government, unlike
many large private employers, does not provide
paid parental leave to its employees. Employees
must save accrued annual and sick leave to
receive paid time off. While the current
practice works for the lucky few who never get
sick or take a vacation, it is unrealistic for
most. The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave
Act (H.R. 616) will promote the values of
parenthood and family by providing four weeks
of paid leave to federal employees who adopt,
foster or have a child. The Federal Workers
Alliance strongly supports the Federal
Employees Paid Parental Leave Act.
Most federal workers are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. However, if an employee wants to receive pay for any portion of their parental leave they must use accrued vacation time or sick days, a difficult task for those who are newly employed or have experienced any health problems in the past. This outdated policy does not promote a family-friendly environment and stands in stark contrast with the rest of the industrialized world.
The United States is one of the only industrialized nations in the world that does not offer paid parental leave to all workers. Most countries recognize how important it is for mothers to recover from childbirth and for parents to nurture their children during some of their most developmental stages. As the federal government often sets the bar for employee benefits, passage of this bill could inspire other sectors of government and private corporations to offer paid parental leave and bring our country closer to the global standard of paid parental leave.
Offering paid leave will also improve recruitment and retention for federal employees and make federal agencies more competitive with other top tier U.S firms. In the coming years, recruitment and retention will be increasingly important as the number of retirements increases at an unprecedented rate. While the federal government cannot compete with private-sector salaries, the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act will help to establish comparable benefits.
The Federal Workers Alliance strongly supports the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act, H.R. 616, legislation that will provide four weeks of paid leave to federal employees who adopt, foster or have a child and ease the burden for parents too often forced to choose between their paycheck and their child.