Maloney Bill to Provide Paid Leave to Federal Workers Passed in House Defense Spending Agreement

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.

Congresswoman Maloney has long made paid family leave a priority, starting with her days on the New York City Council. In fact, one of the first bills that the Congresswoman voted for when she was elected to the House was the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

“Right now, we are one of only two nations in the world that does not provide our workers with any form of paid family or medical leave.

“I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, and I asked about my office’s leave policy. Do you know what they said? They said, ‘Leave? What leave? Women just leave.’ I said that I didn’t intend to leave.  And the response was, ‘That’s never happened before.’

“That was an unacceptable answer for me then, and it is an unacceptable answer now for families across this country. And now, we are on the way to making sure no employee ever hears that.

“When this bill is signed into law, it will be a tremendous victory for 2.1 million federal employees who will no longer need to choose between being home with their new child or their paychecks. 

“While this agreement is an incredible win for families, it is not perfect.  It does not cover paid leave for medical reasons or cover employees outside the federal government. That’s why on Tuesday, I held my first hearing as permanent chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform on this very issue. All Americans—whether they work for the federal government or a private company—should have access to comprehensive paid family and medical leave. We will continue fighting for all hardworking Americans in the years to come to make this a reality.”

The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act is supported by American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE); American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU); National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE); National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE); National Partnership for Women and Families; and the Association for American University Women.