In the current system, federal employees are able to take advantage of 12 weeks of unpaid leave that has been guaranteed to them by the Family and Medical Leave Act. However, very few workers are in a financial situation that would allow them to lose their pay for 3 months. A federal job does not, currently, allow for paid leave that is specifically for the caring of a newly born or adopted child.
A bill pending in the United States Congress would bring the United States in line with most other industrialized nations by allowing federal employees the ability to substitute the 12 weeks of unpaid leave for 4 weeks of paid leave.
The United States government is the countries largest employer, with 2.7 million workers. Although this new bill would only benefit those employed by the federal government, the private sector usually follows the lead of the government in an effort to compete with government positions.
The bill is endorsed by many organizations including the following:
- American Federation of Government Employees
- National Treasury Employees Union
- National Fatherhood Initiative
- American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees
- Moms Rising
- Partnership for Women and Families
- Partnership For Public Service
- American Association of University Women
- Federally Employed Women
You can find a fact sheet on the 2009 Paid Parental Leave Act here.