Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) joined Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12), Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD-5), and Jamie Raskin (D-MD-8) renewed calls to extend paid leave protections to federal workers as they reintroduced the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act. Reps. Maloney, Hoyer, Beyer and Raskin were joined yesterday by AFSCME and NTEU to discuss the importance of this bill to federal workers and their families.
"It’s a travesty that the U.S. government comes in last among developed nations when it comes to paid parental leave, a benefit critical to starting a healthy family,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “Forcing new parents to choose between their child and a paycheck is an archaic practice that needs to end.”
FEPPLA would provide federal employees six weeks of paid leave following the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. Currently, federal employees are entitled to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid Family and Medical Leave, but unpaid leave makes parents choose between a paycheck and caring for a new child during the critical first weeks.
“The United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t provide paid parental leave for its entire workforce. Worldwide, it is only the U.S. and Papua New Guinea that have no such policy,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “This is not only wrong; it’s bad for our economy and why today I am reintroducing the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act to provide six weeks of paid parental leave to federal employees for the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. Paid parental leave makes economic sense for families and their employers; studies have shown that workers with paid leave are more likely to return to their jobs, therefore saving companies costs of hiring and training new workers. We also know that early bonding with children is good for their development. Paid family leave makes economic sense, it makes common sense, and it makes sense for American families.”
“I’m pleased to once again join Congresswoman Maloney and House Democrats in cosponsoring the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act,” said Congressman Steny H. Hoyer. “For the thousands of federal employees in the Fifth District and across the country, paid parental leave means not having to choose between caring for a loved one and keeping their job. The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act would work to expand access to family leave and child care and set an example for the private sector. I urge my Republican colleagues to allow the consideration of this important legislation without delay.”
"It should be a basic point of consensus across the spectrum of politicians who call themselves 'pro-family' that parents of newborn babies and newly adopted children should not be docked their pay for the first six weeks of taking care of their children,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin. “This important legislation will advance that crucial principle for millions of federal workers and their families across the country."
“From my own family life and talking with my federal employee coworkers, I know the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act, is very important and helpful to federal workers – especially moms,” said Federal Employee Teresa Oberti, Member of AFSCME local 3976, Council 26. “Paid parental leave is important because working parents don’t receive enough leave time, and it gets used very quickly for medical visits during pregnancy and after birth. We all know that to be healthy, moms need time off from work for child vaccinations, regular well-baby checkups, and moms’ needs. I’m happy to be part of our federal worker union, AFSCME, which advocates for paid parental leave. Federal employees thank the bipartisan bill sponsors for championing this legislation and working to get it enacted.”
“Over the last ten years, while almost every major US corporation has instituted and expanded paid parental leave policies, the federal government has failed to step up for its own employees,” said National Treasury Employees Union National President Anthony M. Reardon. “That is why it is so important that this legislation becomes law now. As a father of four, I know personally how important it is to have the time to bond with your child. NTEU commends Congresswoman Maloney for her leadership in addressing paid parental leave for federal employees and we pledge to work with her to pass the Federal Employee Paid Parental Leave Act this Congress.”
The legislation has been endorsed by 24 unions representing federal workers. A letter of endorsement can be found here. President Obama issued a memorandum in 2015 allowing federal employees to take up to six weeks of advanced sick leave.
Original co-sponsors of FEPPLA in the 115th Congress are: Barbara Comstock (VA-10), Steny Hoyer (MD-5), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Don Beyer (VA-8), John Delaney (MD-6), Gwen Moore (WI-4), John Garamendi (CA-3), José E. Serrano (NY-15), Darren Soto (FL-9), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-8), Adam Smith (WA-9), Bill Keating (MA-9), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Jim Cooper (TN-5), Diana DeGette (CO-1), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), John Sarbanes (MD-3), Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-3), Nydia M. Velazquez (NY-7), Hank Johnson (GA-4), Rick Larsen (WA-2), Mark Takano (CA-41), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-9), Al Green (TX-9), Madeleine Z. Bordallo (Guam), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Steve Cohen (TN-9), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1), Niki Tsongas (MA-3), Bill Foster (IL-11), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NY-12), Derek Kilmer (WA-6), Alma Adams (NC-12), Jamie Raskin (MD-8).