A Major Step Forward for Federal Employees, But Not Nearly the Comprehensive Paid Leave They Need
“The agreement to include 12 weeks of paid parental leave for approximately two million federal workers as part of the National Defense Authorization Act is a significant and meaningful step forward for the federal workforce and the country. As an organization that has prioritized paid family and medical leave for all of our 13-year history, we are thrilled that millions more working people will soon have paid parental leave to care for new or newly adopted babies. We thank and commend the Democratic leaders in Congress who fought so aggressively for so long to win this advance.
“To be clear, this is just a start: Working people need much more than paid parental leave, they need paid family and medical leave. Three in four workers in this country who take leave do so to address their own serious medical conditions or those of family members, and this measure will do nothing to support them. Federal workers, like all working people, need comprehensive paid family and medical leave.
“Congress and the Trump administration should follow up this advance with immediate passage of the FAMILY (Family And Medical Insurance Leave) Act, the only bipartisan paid leave proposal in Congress that would cover all workers, address the range of caregiving needs families face, and be affordable for taxpayers and businesses alike. It would improve public health, boost moms and all family caregivers, make our workplaces more equitable, and strengthen our nation’s economy. It is the paid family and medical leave measure the country needs.”
--Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and CEO, MomsRising
“While we are thrilled for the more than two million federal employees who will now have limited paid leave, we are disappointed not just by how limited this paid leave is but also by reports that the White House demanded funding for President Trump’s Space Force in return for supporting this measure. Paid family and medical leave is an urgent national priority and should not require trade-offs in order to advance. We have long said that paid family and medical leave isn’t rocket science. Congress shouldn’t have to authorize funds for space ships in order to win passage. Paid family and medical leave is a basic support that nearly every other country guarantees and the United States of America certainly should as well.
"Our hope and expectation is that the experience of the federal workforce with paid parental leave will add to the mountain of evidence demonstrating that paid leave works well for employers as well as employees, and that this advance will soon be expanded to comprehensive paid leave for the federal workforce and, through the FAMILY Act, for all private and public sector working people.”
--Statement of Ruth Martin, Vice President, Workplace Justice Campaigns, MomsRising
NOTE: Tomorrow, Tuesday, at 10 am, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing, examining the need for a comprehensive national paid family and medical leave. Among the witnesses will be MomsRising member Jacqui Silvani from Newfields, New Hampshire, whose family suffered without paid family and medical leave when her young son was diagnosed with cancer. Silvani is available for interviews.