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

Jul 13, 2021 In The News

In 2019, the Senate passed The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA), which permits federal workers up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave due to the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. This moment was “a huge step forward,” said Rep.

Jul 9, 2021 In The News

Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan has long lobbied for paid family leave. Now with support from the Biden administration’s American Families Plan, she’s gotten a measure known as the Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act through the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which she chairs. The legislation would create comprehensive paid family leave for all federal employees including more than half a million working in New York state.

May 11, 2021 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney today joined Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (R-OK), and Congressman David P. Joyce (R-OH) to introduce legislation today that would significantly expand parental leave for military servicemembers and make other improvements for new parents who serve in the armed forces. 


May 11, 2021 In The News

All military parents would get 12 weeks of family leave to care for a new child and would see increased flexibility in how they use that time off under a new legislative proposal introduced on Tuesday.

Apr 19, 2021 In The News

A group of four Democratic senators last week introduced legislation to provide federal employees with up to 12 weeks of paid family leave per year to handle illnesses and other circumstances not covered in paid parental leave benefits passed into law in 2019. The new legislation mirrors a bill already under consideration in the House.

Apr 16, 2021 In The News

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced a bill on Thursday in the Senate to give federal employees paid family and medical leave. A companion bill was introduced in January in the House, where Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) is leading the charge to expand paid leave options for feds.

Mar 17, 2021 In The News

Congresswoman Maloney sits at her desk and her young daughter sits atop it. They are both looking at the camera.

Feb 12, 2021 In The News

Proposed legislation being considered by a House committee on Friday could expand paid leave for federal workers who have exhausted their allotment amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Jan 31, 2021 In The News

Rep. Maloney stands on the steps inside a subway station with the word "excelsior" behind her.

Career politicians all around have been sent packing but Carolyn Maloney says she isn't going anywhere. | Guerin Blask

Jan 29, 2021 In The News

Rep Maloney speaks at a congressional hearing

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) says she is confident her bill on paid family leave will become law.) (Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)