Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

House Passes Bill with Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees

From CNN:

The House of Representatives passed an annual defense authorization bill on Wednesday with a provision that provides all federal workers with 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the first time in American history.

In the White House push for Space Force's inclusion, it was made clear, aides familiar with the negotiations said, that any number of Democratic priorities were potentially on the table. Over the objection of congressional Republicans, the White House agreed to the paid parental leave for federal workers in order to ensure the establishment of Space Force, the aides said.

Democrats celebrated the paid leave provision in the must-pass legislation, although the bill on the whole was met with dismay from some progressive members who felt they lost on many of their other legislative priorities after negotiations with the Republican-held Senate. The bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 377-48. Forty-one Democrats and six Republicans opposed it, along with independent Rep. Justin Amash.
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There is currently no parental leave policy for federal government employees. The United States does not have a federal parental leave policy or law that applies nationwide, either. It is the only industrialized nation that does not have one.
 
"We in the federal government, I believe we should lead by example, and this is a perfect opportunity to do that," Rep. Jennifer Wexton, a freshman Democrat from a northern Virginia district where many federal employees live, told CNN.
 
"This is going to help us attract a new generation of federal workers," she added. "Our federal workforce has been aging. We need to make sure we can attract and retain people who want to work for the federal government. This will help."
 
The initial provision in the bill would have established paid parental leave for military and Department of Defense employees, but Democrats were able to extend the policy to all federal employees, Wexton said.
 

Read more here.

 
 

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