Workforce

Lawmakers hope to extend paid parental leave beyond Title 5

US Congress House side Shutterstock photo ID: 156615524 By mdgn editorial use only 

Most federal employees with one year of service will qualify for 12 weeks of paid parental leave after the birth, adoption or fostering of a child under a provision included in the most recent National Defense Authorization Act. Previously feds who wanted to take such leave had to rely on accrued vacation time, donated leave or else forgo pay.

The bill didn't cover everyone employed on full-time basis by the federal government. Workers outside the reach of Title 5 of U.S. code, including some employees at the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration and in the Washington, D.C. courts.

To remedy that, the House Oversight Committee’s Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Member Rep. Carol Miller (R-W. Va.) announced the Federal Employee Parental Leave Technical Correction Act. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced an identical bill in the Senate on Dec. 18. Senate Democrats tried and failed to pass the bill last year via unanimous consent.

The bill would strike language in Title 5 that prevented certain workers from accessing paid parental leave.

"This year, more than 2 million federal employees received a guarantee of 12 weeks' paid leave for the birth, fostering, or adoption of a child. The legislation we are introducing today will ensure that even more federal employees no longer need to choose between their paychecks or being home with their new child," Maloney said in a statement.

The new benefit takes effect Oct. 1, 2020, according to guidance from the Office of Personnel Management.

About the Author

Lia Russell is a staff writer and associate editor at FCW covering the federal workforce. Before joining FCW, she worked as a freelance labor reporter in San Francisco for outlets such SF Weekly, The American Prospect and The Baffler. Russell graduated with a bachelor's degree from Bard College.

Contact Lia at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @LiaOffLeash.


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