Some lawmakers are more in support of family values than others, and those who support allowing more time for new mothers and fathers to bond with their babies deserve kudos from everyone. After all, we were all babies once and many of us will have children of our own.
That’s why AFGE would like to extend our thanks to the following House lawmakers who this week turned their strong belief into something concrete by introducing a bill that would grant six weeks of paid parental leave to federal employees who are new mothers and fathers to take care of the new additions to their families: Reps. Carolyn Maloney of New York, Steny Hoyer and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Gerry Connolly and Don Beyer of Virginia, and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton of D.C.
The bill, called for in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union, will also help the government recruit and retain the next generation of workers. According to the most recent governmentwide employee survey, employees born after 1980 – known as millennials – stay in their jobs just 3.8 years on average. The U.S. is the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee paid maternal leave. This is a great opportunity for the federal government to lead by example and give their employees this important paid leave.
“Federal employees are only able to accumulate a maximum of 30 days of annual leave, which is hardly enough time to provide care to a newborn or newly adopted child. Because of this, employees are forced to either take off work without pay or return to work far too soon, robbing their children of early nurturing that’s vital for future development,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “The federal government already reimburses its contractors for the cost of paid parental leave. It’s time for government to extend these benefits to its own employees and serve as a model that all employers should follow.”