Nobody should have to choose between their child and a paycheck. That’s why AFGE supports a Senate bill that would provide up to six weeks of paid leave to federal employees for the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child.
The Federal Employee Paid Parental Leave Act (FEPPLA) was introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland. Although the Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave to tend to medical and family issues, it does not provide any paid parental leave.
"I am proud to see Senators Schatz and Mikulski standing up for working families and introducing this critical legislation for new parents," said AFGE National President J. David Cox, Sr. "Too often, our working mothers and fathers have to make the agonizing choice between spending time with their families or earning a paycheck. With this bill, civil servants across the country would be able to do both."
A similar bill, H.R. 532, has been introduced in the House by paid parental leave champion Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York.
The Senate bill expresses the intent of Congress that all federal workers be eligible for paid parental leave benefits, including the more than 45,000 Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) who screen millions of passengers and bags at our nation’s airports each year. AFGE continues the call for application of paid parental leave benefits and all rights and benefits under Title 5 of the U.S. Code to TSOs, who currently lack statutory parental leave allowances that apply to most workers.
It is without question that the benefits of paid parental leave to children and families are enormous and long-lasting. Signaling the providence of family friendly leave policies, international corporations ranging from Nestle to Adobe recently increased the availability of paid parental leave to their employees. Senate passage of FEPPLA would allow the federal government and its workforce to demonstrate to all U.S. employers the strong economic and family benefit of paid parental leave.