House Committee Approves Federal Employee Parental Leave Bill
Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act (FEPPLA), H.R. 626/S.354, a bill that will give federal workers a minimum of four weeks paid leave to care for a newly born, adopted, or fostered child.
Under current law, expecting parents may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for their newborn, forcing them to use sick and annual leave to make up for the lost time. To Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who is the original sponsor of the bill, this is unacceptable.
“The current recession only makes paid family leave more important. No federal employee who’s a new parent should be forced to choose between their paycheck and their newborn – or newly adopted – child in those vital first few weeks home,” Maloney said. “As the nation’s largest employer, the federal government can – and should – lead the way on this issue.”
Today, many private sector employers provide workers with paid parental leave which, along with comparatively higher salaries, put the federal government at a competitive disadvantage in recruiting new talent. Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) recognizes that this bill will be key in closing this gap.
“The country is better served by an experienced and productive federal workforce that is able to adequately provide for the health and well-being of their newborn or newly adopted children,” said Chairman Towns. “The federal government is becoming an increasingly aged workforce so we must begin to implement workplace benefits that allow us to be as attractive, if not more attractive, than the private sector. By doing so, we can create the most skilled and effective workforce for the future.”
The bill will now move on to be considered by the full House of Representatives.