Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees

Federal employees are now guaranteed 12 weeks of leave for the birth of a child, but many families cannot afford to take that much time off of work without any compensation. Congresswoman Maloney has introduced legislation to provide six weeks of paid parental leave for new parents of both biological and adopted children.

Many are surprised to learn that the federal government does not provide paid parental leave to its employees.  As the nation’s largest employer, the federal government should be a leader in family friendly policies, but it has not kept pace with the changing American workforce.  Most families today no longer have a stay-at-home parent to care for a new child, and even before the economic crisis few could afford to go without pay for any length of time.  Evidence shows that providing paid parental leave is good for children’s health and development, boosts employee morale and productivity, and saves costs for employers by reducing turnover.  The evidence is clear – no one benefits when parents are forced to make the terrible choice between getting a paycheck and caring for their new child.

Congress needs new policies to show that it does not just talk about family values, it truly values families.  Congresswoman Maloney has introduced the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act, which would respond to the needs of tens of thousands of working families by providing federal employees with 4 weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child during the 12 weeks of unpaid leave to which they are currently entitled. 

Among the reasons to support this bill:  

  • The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has stated that this legislation is PAYGO neutral, and that “enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or receipts.”  

  • Providing paid parental leave will save the federal government money by boosting employee morale and productivity, while reducing turnover.   

  • It helps the economy.  New parents spend an average of $11,000 in added expenses in the year a child is born.  By ensuring that new families’ incomes stay steady, paid leave insures the consumption of these families remains steady too, driving economic growth.   

Supporting families by providing paid parental leave is a long-term investment in our future.  Children whose parents are provided with paid leave are more likely to have regular checkups, receive immunizations, and engage in the parent-child bonding that is crucial to early childhood development.

More on Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees

Feb 11, 2020 In The News

When I was pregnant with my first child, I asked my employer about the office’s leave policy. My supervisor was stunned by the question: “Leave? What leave? Women just leave.” When I replied that I didn’t intend to leave, the response was “That’s never happened before.”

That was an unacceptable answer for me—and sadly, many workers hear similar words to this day when they need family and medical leave from their jobs to care for themselves and their families.

Dec 23, 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

What a year we’ve had! It’s hard to believe that 2019 is coming to an end. With a new year—and decade—ahead, I wanted to take a look back at all that we accomplished together this year. We got a lot done working for the American people, including:

Dec 16, 2019 In The News

Washington (AP) -- The federal government’s 2.1 million employees will get paid parental leave for the first time, a galvanizing moment in the growing movement to bring the benefit to all U.S. workers.

The benefit, which gives 12 weeks of paid leave to mothers and fathers of newborns, newly adopted children or foster children, is part of a defense bill expected to receive final congressional approval Tuesday. President Donald Trump has said he will sign it into law.

Dec 13, 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

Dec 13, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan agreement on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which includes language from Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney’s Federal Employee Paid Leave Act to give 2.1 million federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child.

Dec 11, 2019 In The News

This week was a big one on the progressive policy front for an issue that isn’t getting the kind of headlines some other flashy ideas are grabbing.

Guaranteed paid family leave, the notion that working Americans need time off to care for a new baby, other family members or themselves, is moving closer to becoming a reality. If it succeeds, it could finally put the U.S. in line with other developed countries and help the millions of Americans currently forced to lose income or skip caring for family or themselves due to a lack of leave.

Dec 10, 2019 In The News

The U.S. is one of only two nations in the world that does not offer some form of paid leave, leaving over 80 percent of workers with little financial recourse if they must take time off to care for a new child or a sick family member. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) instead currently provides workers with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave—and only 60 percent of Americans can access even that, due to limitations on the number of employees a business has. All told, only about 19 percent of workers in the U.S. have access to paid family leave.

Dec 10, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Dec.10, 2019)—Below is Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney's opening statement, as prepared for delivery, for today’s hearing on “Examining the Need for Comprehensive National Paid Family and Medical Leave.”


Oct 10, 2019 In The News

Officials with the National Treasury Employees Union said Thursday that they are hopeful that a plan to provide federal workers with 12 weeks of paid family leave will soon become law.

Oct 4, 2019 In The News

Nicole Morio works for the Social Security Administration, helping Americans navigate their way to a financially secure retirement. Yet her own financial situation is anything but secure. 

The 36-year-old had a baby four weeks ago. And the federal government doesn’t offer its more than 2 million workers paid leave after the birth of a child.