WASHINGTON – Today, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement in response to the introduction of the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act by Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii:
“Thank you to Senator Schatz for introducing this important legislation, which would provide federal employees with 12 weeks of paid leave for reasons covered by the Family Medical Leave Act, including a new child, a family illness, or issues involving military deployments. The Senate bill, S 1174, is a companion to HR 1534, which was introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney in March and currently has 27 bipartisan cosponsors.
“Federal employees currently receive no paid time off for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child, or to address other family medical emergencies. Because of this, every day there are hundreds – if not thousands – of federal workers facing the agonizing choice between paying the bills and meeting a critical family need: whether it’s bonding with a newly arrived child, caring for a seriously ill or injured family member, tending to their own health condition, or handling issues related to a family member’s current or recent military service.
“Extending 12 weeks of paid leave to federal employees will help them better balance their work and home lives, and it will give agencies a needed advantage when recruiting and retaining workers to carry out critical missions on behalf of the country.
“AFGE strongly supports this legislation and encourages every member of Congress to cosponsor the bill and support it when it comes to a vote.”