Pay & Benefits

Family leave legislation introduced in the Senate

Federal employees may soon see codified, paid time off to take care of a new child or sick relative with the April 11 introduction of the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act in the Senate.

The legislation, which was first introduced in the House March 5 by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., guarantees federal employees have access to 12 weeks of paid family leave in the event of the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child, as well as for addressing family medical emergencies.

The Senate version of the bill was introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

“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,” said American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. in a statement.

“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.”

Both bills must now be considered by their House and Senate committees of jurisdiction before making it to the floor of each chamber for votes.

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