National Partnership for Women & Families

House Passage of Paid Leave for Federal Employees 'Significant Step Forward for the Nation'

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — June 19, 2008 —
“The U.S. House of Representatives took a significant step forward not just for federal workers, but for the nation today by passing the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2008.  While 1.8 million federal workers will benefit directly if this legislation becomes law, all workers will win when the federal government demonstrates that paid parental leave is good for employers as well as employees.

The bill provides four weeks of paid administrative leave, at regular salary, to federal workers, to be taken within one year of when babies are born or adopted.  Right now, 75 percent of Fortune 100 companies provide an average of six to eight weeks of paid leave to new mothers, but federal employees who become parents are entitled only to unpaid leave under the Family & Medical Leave Act.  Many cannot afford to take the unpaid leave that law provides.

We thank Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) for championing this legislation, and urge the Senate to waste no time in passing its bipartisan companion bill, sponsored by Senators Jim Webb (D-VA) and John Warner (R-VA).  President Bush should rethink his veto threat.  The federal government should be a model employer, and giving working mothers and fathers time to bond with newborns and newly-adopted children lays a foundation for healthy growth and development.  This bill is a great way to put our family values to work.”

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

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