House Democrats revive efforts to give federal employees paid family leave

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Washington, March 11, 2019 | comments
Federal News Network

Maybe the third, fourth or fifth time is the charm.

House lawmakers on Tuesday again revived their attempts to pass a paid family leave bill for federal employees. This time, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), along with House Majority Speaker Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Reps. Jennifer Wexton and Don Beyer (D-Va.), have introduced the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act.

The legislation would guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid leave for federal employees to witness the birth, adoption or fostering of a new child and care for a new child or family member with a serious medical condition. The leave would also apply to federal employees who have a serious medical condition themselves and need time to recover.

The United States and Papua New Guinea are the only countries in the world that don’t have paid maternity leave programs written into law.

Wexton and Beyer described the benefits that a paid family leave program would bring to federal agencies who have actively struggled to recruit and retain young employees. Just 6 percent of the federal workforce is under the age of 30, while just more than 18 percent of federal employees who were on board at the start of fiscal 2018 were eligible to retirement, according to the Partnership for Public Service.

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