U.S. Reps Push PAID Leave for Federal Employees

Jul 25, 2007
Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), and Tom Davis (R-VA) today introduced the “Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act” (H.R. 3158), bipartisan legislation that would provide all federal employees with eight weeks of paid parental leave.  Federal employees currently must deplete their annual and sick time to take parental leave.

“The federal government may refer to its leave policies as ‘family friendly,’ but the reality is that it’s forcing many of its employees to choose between their paycheck and their new child,” said Rep. Maloney.  “Antiquated family leave policies are also a talent drain on the government – they’re an incentive for skilled people to look elsewhere for work at the very time when our government needs them most.  The federal government should be leading the way and providing its employees with a truly family friendly workplace.”  

“Every day federal employees provide a variety of services vital to the progress of this nation," said Rep. Hoyer.  “The work that these men and women do is critically important, and their compensation and treatment in the workplace needs to fairly reflect that.  Granting these valuable employees paid parental leave - a benefit that is commonplace in the private sector - is a simple way to recognize the value of the federal workforce as well as strengthen the government’s ability to compete for employee talent.”

“Today, private firms use pro-family, pro-child initiatives such as the measure advocated here as highly effective recruiting and retention tools.  They know parents don’t want to choose between losing a job or months of pay and spending irreplaceable time with a newborn.  Parental leave is the norm in most industrialized nations and most leading U.S. companies.  Our government is in the midst of a human capital crisis, and this legislation is one way to address that problem,” said Rep. Davis.

In addition to giving federal employees eight weeks of paid leave, H.R. 3158 would allow them to use any accumulated annual or sick leave to offset the 12 weeks of unpaid leave guaranteed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

By failing to provide paid parental leave, the federal government lags behind both the private sector (53% of private-sector employers provide some form of paid parental leave), and many industrialized nations. 

As Vice-Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, Congresswoman Maloney is holding a series of hearings to explore family-friendly workplace policies. 


Rep. Maloney wrote to OPM last year and asked them to clarify their parental leave policy