December 10, 2019

Van Hollen Announces Inclusion of Paid Parental Leave for Federal Workers in Defense Authorization Bill

Provision Will Provide Federal Workers With 12 Weeks of Paid Parental Leave; Under Current Law, Federal Workers Who Take Leave to Care For A New Child Are Left Without Pay

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) announced the inclusion of language to provide 2 million federal workers with 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child after birth, adoption, or the initiation of foster care. The provision was included within the House and Senate negotiated National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).


“We have been fighting for years to provide paid family leave to workers throughout the country. With this agreement, the federal government will finally start to lead by example – providing paid parental leave to its workforce. We will continue fighting until all working families around the nation receive paid family and medical leave benefits,” said Senator Van Hollen.


Senator Van Hollen is an original cosponsor of the FAMILY Act, which provides up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for all workers, as well as the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act. He will continue to fight for all workers to receive paid family and medical leave.


Although the current Family and Medical Leave Act allows covered employees in the public and private sectors to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a new child, it does not provide any paid leave. Studies have shown that providing paid leave for federal employees would save the government at least $50 million annually in turnover and replacement costs. Federal agencies are already struggling to recruit and retain young talent. Just 6 percent of the federal workforce is under the age of 30, while roughly 40 percent of the workforce is eligible to retire within the next three years.


This provision is supported by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), the Federal-Postal Coalition, and the National Partnership for Women & Families.