WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President Everett Kelley today issued the following statement in response to the introduction of the Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act:
“On behalf of the 700,000 federal and D.C. government employees AFGE represents, I sincerely thank House Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney for introducing this important legislation. This bill would expand the newly enacted benefit that provided federal workers with 12 weeks of paid parental leave to include other reasons covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), including care for close family members, serious employee health conditions, and for circumstances that arise when the employee or a family member is detailed for covered duty in the armed forces. Employees would not need to exhaust their sick and annual leave before using this benefit.
“This legislation would improve the government’s ability to recruit and retain qualified workers by providing employees with 12 weeks of paid family leave for all absences covered by the FLMA. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgency of providing federal workers with paid leave for dependent care needs. No federal worker should have to choose between a paycheck and caring for a sick loved one. The federal government is supposed to be a model employer and should lead by example. We thank Chairwoman Maloney and the other lawmakers who have cosponsored this critical legislation, and we look forward to working with Congress to get this new benefit passed into law as quickly as possible.”