Maloney, Houlahan, Smith Celebrate Inclusion of Paid Leave Amendment in NDAA

Jul 10, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), sponsor of H.R. 1534 Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA), Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statements after their amendment, which reflects the language in H.R. 1534, was officially adopted in the NDAA after passage of the rule today in the House. The provision provides 12 weeks paid family medical leave to federal workers to care for themselves and their families.

“The federal government is our nation’s largest employer with more than 2.1 million employees all across the country. The federal government can and should be a model employer for the private sector in this area. Now, with the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act as part of the NDAA we can make that happen,” said Rep. Maloney. “When I was pregnant with my first child and asked about the leave policy, the response I got was, ‘Leave? What leave? Women just leave.’ That’s not acceptable. This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue – this is a family issue.”

“I cannot fathom a world where any person, regardless of party, would hesitate to understand the importance of having the best and the brightest people working in and for our government,” said Rep. Houlahan. “Our legislation addresses this core issue: no one should have to choose between their family and career. The government should be leading by example, and today, with this legislation, we are successfully sending a message to all workplaces: paid family leave is an investment in our American families. For me, it’s an inspiring moment when we see legislation being borne from unlikely bed fellows: a concern for securing our supply chain of rare earths helps fund the need to provide paid family leave to all federal workers. This is the type of legislation that my community in Pennsylvania expects from this Congress, and I'm proud to introduce it.”

“With this amendment, the federal government takes a leading role promoting paid family leave in America, providing much-needed support and relief to working families,” said Chairman Smith. “Thanks to the leadership of Representatives Maloney and Houlahan, the federal government will soon be able to better attract and retain employees who can rest assured that they won’t have to choose between their paychecks and their families.”

The provision would guarantee 12 weeks of paid leave:

  • Because of the birth of an employee’s child and in order to care for such child.
  • Because of the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care.
  • In order to care for the spouse, child, or parent of the employee, if such spouse, child, or parent has a serious health condition.
  • Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee’s position.
  • Because of any qualifying urgent need arising from the fact that the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is on covered active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty) in the Armed Forces.