Renewing the Push for Paid Family Leave for Federal Workers
WASHINGTON, DC - Bipartisan legislation reintroduced in Congress would help federal workers care for new additions to their families. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); Tom Davis (R-VA), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee; and Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Minority Whip, have sponsored the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act (H.R. 5148), which would give civil servants six weeks of paid leave for the birth of a child or an adoption. Currently, federal workers have to use annual leave and sick leave to care for their newborns.
"The federal government is woefully behind the times in its family leave policy," said Maloney. "More than ever, the government faces a tough market for recruiting the best and the brightest, and backward family policies don’t help. The current policy isn’t very family-friendly."
"Today’s worker is looking for flexible, family-friendly work options," Davis said. "The federal government can’t necessarily compete for talent with the private sector on a dollar-for-dollar basis, but we can make sure we are competitive in quality of life issues."
"It is beyond debate that family-friendly employment policies not only strengthen families, but increase worker morale and improve productivity," said Hoyer. "Providing paid leave to federal employees to care for a new child is one policy that would do just that."
As it currently stands, federal employees are not granted any paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Many federal parents cannot afford to take leave without pay to stay with their newborns and are forced to choose between caring for their child or paying the bills.
The legislation would make the federal government more competitive in the labor force by modernizing its standard of benefits to creates a truly family-friendly workplace for its employees. It faces serious challenges in the 21st century to attract and retain skilled and motivated employees and needs to keep up with the private sector in its ability to provide competitive pay and benefits.