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Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees

Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees

When it comes to having a baby there are two things I know about myself. (1) I will without a doubt have an epidural. (2) My partner will be at home by my side taking his own temporary leave from work.

Enter the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act. If passed federal workers could get up to 4 weeks paid paternity leave for a newborn or adopted child. It also allows for federal workers to use up to eight weeks of accrued paid sick time or annual leave immediately following the first 4 weeks of paid leave.

Currently federal employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. For many parents this means one of two things: either they stay home and sacrifice income they desperately need or return to work but sacrifice time with their child. For many the choice is made for them. The financial hit, especially in today’s economy, is too great so they forgo time at home with their new child to make ends meet.  

Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York introduced the bill and has said:

“Especially in this economy, families shouldn’t have to stress over cobbling together accrued sick days and vacation time to care for a newborn infant or newly adopted child—they should be focusing on their new family. The federal government is the largest employer in the nation, but it lags behind the private sector on this vital work-life issue, so this bill can have a big impact.”

The passing of this legislation would be a great victory for the 2.7 million workers who are employed by the federal government. It would also create a stepping stone for making paid parental and family leave a standard for all of our nation’s workers not to mention sending an important message in this country that the work parents and caregivers do is valued!

Ask your state’s representative to support the legislation today (thanks NOW)!

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Photo by Hugrakka used under a Creative Commons license.  

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12 comments

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1:03PM PDT on May 22, 2009

The big problem with BIG expensive government is sooner or later you run out of other people's money.

1:01PM PDT on May 22, 2009

Paid leave for federal employees should not be a right. I pay the bills, thank you, and I'd just as soon not be paying this one.
Everyone who has a child does so by choice. If it isn't convenient then don't have children. don't expect we the people to pay for it.

5:38AM PDT on Apr 28, 2009

Hope, if you voted no and it looked like you voted yes; it was not because the poll didn't work. The poll only shows how a majority of the people are voting - what ever was shown in the NO column - well, that was where you were. What it means is that more people are voting yes on this question.
Nearly everyone agrees that bonding with parents takes place in the first few weeks of life. There is something called Disorganized Attachment Disorder - the prisons are full of them - babies who fail to bond with mom (and dad). In today's ecomony, it might be correct to say don't have children if you can't take off to raise them; however that is not very realistic, is it? It makes sense in the long run, to take care of things at the beginning. The more babies we have in America who have parents who can take time off (paid) to bond with their children - the less crime we may have later & more productive citizens too.

6:38PM PDT on Apr 24, 2009

Im sorry....can I get that benefit if I am not a federal employee to? Why is is that there are more benefits to federal employees then the people that are paying their salary? Not an issue that I support unless applied to all parents-not just those paid by my taxes. NO sympathy card here my friend.

2:14PM PDT on Apr 20, 2009

Men have a lot more rights than women do and we should be just as equal as men. If we have to get off because a child is ill we shouldn't be afraid of losing our job.
I love to see a man do the hard work that women have to do to keep the house clean and neat I would love to see that happen.
It is really sad to think that we are still speaking about this in this day and time it just makes me very angry and that is a fact.

12:18AM PDT on Apr 19, 2009

And Sweden is broke.

5:17PM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

speaking as a long-time federal employee, i think it is not really fair to protect only us; it should be universal, unless there are numerous private companies already offering this benefit, in which case the feds should do it to remain competitive. americans have a sorry habit of being 'penny wide pound foolish' and this issue is a painful example. passing this universally would end up benefitting us all in every way, including financial.

11:30AM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

I find comments by people like Pat really shocking: So only the extremely rich, who don't have to work or those on welfare should have children and everyone who works hard for a living shouldn't? Plenty of people in this country go on about family values, but they don't actually value families. I would rather see this as a national law than as a benefit for government employees.

7:23AM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

If these working Moms can afford to have children, then why on earth should they get paid to stay home and look after them. I dont think for a moment moms or dads should get paid vacation, if they cant afford to have these babies, then for heaven sake, dont expect the tax payers to pay for it!! Not impressed!

4:16AM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

This is ludicrous, we are not Sweden and this is not an issue of parental equality.

If you want it based on equality what is the factor used? The amount of time the father took in creating life (a minute for sperm to find the egg) is what proportion of the nine months the mother devoted to developing the fetus and the delivery.

Ths is not an issue of gender equality but a burden to society. To have society pay every federal employees an additional 4 weeks paid vacation because their wife had a medical procedure is outright ridiculous.

The FLMA is available for those consideraing this to be so important for thwe father to be there with the kids during their first weeks of life. Yes, FLMA is often unpaid but one does not lose their job and one would have months to save up for the event.

The poll does not work.

I voted no and it responded as if I voted yes.

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