Late today NTEU confirmed that a paid parental leave provision for federal employees is included in the defense authorization bill that just came out of conference committee. This is an important step that NTEU welcomes and the union will work hard to see it through to full passage.
This bill provides 12 weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child and would free new parents from having to choose between a paycheck and taking care of a new family member.
At the same time, we continue to support a more robust paid family leave program that would include paid leave not only for the arrival of a new child, but also to take care of a critically ill family member or a serious personal medical condition.
As NTEU has noted many times, the United States lags far behind private sector employers and countries worldwide in offering paid parental leave and establishing the program is long overdue.
The bill must be passed by the House and the Senate and signed by the president. At each step, NTEU will be there urging members of Congress to support the legislation and bring this vital program to the federal workforce. You have waited too long for this.
Under the language in the bill, to be eligible employees must have at least one year of federal service and will be required to return to work for at least 12 weeks after taking the leave. In addition, this paid parental leave replaces any unpaid FMLA leave that the employee would otherwise have been eligible for that year.