Under current law, federal employees who take time off to care for a loved one won’t get paid, but a new bill aims to change that.
Introduced last week, the Employees Paid Leave Act would provide federal employees with 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child or a sick family member.
The legislation was co-sponsored by Sens. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. It has a companion bill in the House, which was introduced March 5 by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employees can take 12 weeks’ unpaid leave to tend to medical and family issues, but the law doesn’t provide any paid leave. Van Hollen said too many parents have no choice but to go back to work “just days after bringing a new child home.”
“As we fight for this right for all workers, the federal government can and should set the example,” he said in an April 11 statement. “Providing paid parental leave for civil servants would benefit many Maryland families, and it would help the federal government attract and retain the best and brightest workers to serve the public.”