Maloney, Houlahan, Smith Introduce Paid Leave Amendment to NDAA

Jun 26, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), author of the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA); Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) Tuesday introduced the bill as an amendment to the NDAA, providing 12 weeks of paid leave to federal employees to care for themselves and their families. The amendment reflects language in Congresswoman Maloney’s H.R. 1534 and would institute the first federally funded paid family medical leave policy. 

“No person should need to choose between taking care of a loved one or being able to put food on the table,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Paid family leave is a benefit to the workforce, the government and the nation. The U.S. government should be a model employer, and this bill will help take a big step forward allowing employees to appropriately care for themselves or their families without worrying about job security.”

“In the military, it is said you recruit the individual but you retain the family,” said Congresswoman Houlahan. “I was active duty serving in the Air Force while pregnant and with the birth of my first daughter, it was difficult balancing caring for my family and serving my country. And I know many families across our country still face similar situations today. I’m proud to introduce legislation that would institute the first ever federally funded paid-parental-leave act. Our American families deserve nothing less.”

“This amendment is a huge first step towards bridging the gap between the federal government and the private sector, and provides much needed support and relief to working families. The principle is simple – federal employees should not have to sacrifice their paychecks in order to take care of their families and loved ones, said Chairman Smith. This amendment will have a significant impact on the federal government’s ability to attract and retain employees with a commitment to public service.  I applaud Reps. Maloney and Houlahan for their concerted effort to make paid family leave a reality for federal employees.”

“The federal government is the nation’s largest employer, yet federal employees are among the millions of workers who do not have any type of paid family and medical leave through their job. This means they must forego a paycheck when they need time away from their job to welcome a new child, care for a seriously ill or injured loved one or address their own medical issue,” said Debra Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families. “We applaud Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) for introducing this amendment that would provide federal employees with paid leave for the full range of caregiving needs reflected in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). A comprehensive paid leave policy would help the government attract and retain talented workers — particularly younger workers — and could help save taxpayers money by reducing employee turnover and replacement costs. We urge Congress to support and swiftly pass this amendment, along with the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would set a national paid leave standard for all working people.”

“AFGE strongly supports the Maloney/Houlahan Amendment on Federal Employee Paid Leave,” said AFGE President J. David Cox, Sr. “This amendment would provide federal employees with 12 weeks of paid leave for the birth, adoption, or fostering of a new child; to care for seriously ill or injured family members; to tend to an employee’s own serious health condition; and to address the health, wellness, financial, and other issues that could arise when a loved one is serving overseas in the military or is a recently discharged veteran. No federal employee should have to choose between caring for a loved one and receiving a paycheck.”

“Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Chrissy Houlahan have been steadfast supporters of paid family leave for federal employees and NTEU is proud to stand with them. This common-sense benefit is long overdue for the federal workforce. At no time should a federal employee be forced to choose between family and a paycheck and we urge adoption of the amendment and swift passage of this program in Congress,” said Tony Reardon, National President of the National Treasury Employees Union.

The Amendment 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.


The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act currently has bipartisan support in the House.

The full text of the amendment can be found here.