Maloney, Hoyer, Smith, DeLauro, Lead Senior Members in Introducing Bill to Provide Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Workers

Jan 28, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 28, 2021)—Today, Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Committee on Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith, Committee on Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus Jackie Speier, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Rep. Don Beyer, and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced The Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act, to grant all federal employees 12 weeks of paid leave relating to personal illness, illness of a family member, or military deployment.

 

Currently, under The Family and Medical Leave Act, federal employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave over a 12-month period for reasons relating to personal illness, illness of a family member, or military deployment. 

 

“Our frontline heroes risking their lives during this pandemic shouldn’t be forced to choose between caring for themselves or sick family members and putting food on the table,” said Chairwoman Maloney.  “I’ve fought for two decades to ensure that our federal workers have the resources they need to take care of themselves and their families while serving our country.   Today’s legislation is an important step to making decades of hard work a reality.  Protecting federal workers should be a bipartisan issue, and I urge all my colleagues to stand with federal workers and support this legislation.”

 

“I’m pleased once again to join Chairwoman Maloney in introducing this critically important legislation for federal employees,” said Congressman Hoyer.  “Paid family and medical leave is essential for workers to care for ailing relatives and to recover properly from illness or injury without having to worry about losing their incomes.  Extending this benefit to federal employees will ensure our government is able to recruit and retain the best public servants our nation has to offer.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure the passage of this legislation.”

 

“Paid family and medical leave is essential to maintaining the strength of our federal work force, many of whom have been working tirelessly on the frontlines combatting the pandemic,” said Chairman Smith.  “Workers and families shouldn’t have to choose between losing their source of income and spending time with their newborn, treating a personal illness, or caring for an ill family member.  I’m proud to have included legislation first introduced by Chairwoman Maloney in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020 to provide paid parental leave for all federal employees.  The Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act would take the necessary steps to build on that benefit to guarantee paid family and medical leave for all federal employees.”

 

“The federal government should set the standard for protecting workers,” said Chairwoman DeLauro.  “We must move full steam ahead on providing all federal employees with paid sick and family leave and enact a permanent solution to a problem that has existed long before the coronavirus pandemic.  Losing several weeks’ worth of wages in order to care for an ill loved one or the birth of a child—events which many of us would need to take time off for—is simply unacceptable.  I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act and taking this critical step to protect our workers.”

 

“The federal government should be a leader when it comes to paid family leave,” said Rep. Connolly.  “I thank Chairwoman Maloney, Leader Hoyer, and Chairman Smith for their commitment to ensuring our dedicated public servants are afforded the opportunity to care for their loved ones during times of need.”

 

“As a country we claim to support family values, yet we don’t offer paid family and medical leave.  As Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, I have met with countless workers across the country struggling with little to no means to care for an ailing family members or tend to their own illness because our country has neglected to prioritize paid family and medical leave,” said Rep. Speier.  “No one should be forced to choose between keeping their jobs and their personal or family health.  There is no logical reason for this profound disservice, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to right this wrong.”

 

“Providing comprehensive paid leave to the federal workforce would do an enormous amount of good for Northern Virginians,” said Rep. Beyer.  “The United States has lagged other nations on paid leave for years, a disparity that has made the pandemic much worse for the country.  Those effects have been hard on the civil service, it’s something I’ve heard about from constituents many times over the past year.  The federal government can do much better, and in providing better family and medical leave it has the opportunity to serve as a national leader.  Let’s set the good example and expand paid leave for the federal workforce, at long last.”

 

BACKGROUND:

 

The Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act will give all federal employees up to 12 weeks paid leave for any 12-month period for one or any combination of the following reasons:

 

  • To care for an ill spouse, child, or parent;
  • To care for a serious personal medical condition; or
  • Any qualifying circumstance resulting from a spouse, child, or parent who is designated or soon to be designated to be active duty military.

 

As part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020, Congress passed landmark legislation first introduced by Chairwoman Maloney that guaranteed paid parental leave to the 2.1 million employees of the federal government.  The policy was implemented on October 1, 2020.

 

Currently, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, federal employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for reasons relating to personal illness, illness of a family member, or military deployment. 

 

The U.S. federal government is the largest employer in the nation and should be leading when it comes to family friendly work policies.

 

Today’s legislation is endorsed by: American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE); National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU); American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE); National Partnership for Women & Families.

 

Click here to read The Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act.

 

Click here to read the one-pager.

 

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117th Congress