National Partnership for Women & Families

Work/Family Leader Lauds House Passage of Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — June 4, 2009 —
"In passing the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2009 (HR 626), the House of Representatives today helped federal workers, and all workers, because we are all better off when the federal government takes the lead in demonstrating that paid parental leave is good for employers as well as employees.

We thank Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) for championing this legislation and winning passage in the House of Representatives.  It would provide four weeks of paid administrative leave, at regular salary, to federal workers, to be taken within one year of the birth or adoption of a baby.  It also would allow the Office of Personnel Management to increase that leave to up to eight weeks. 

Right now, federal employees who become parents have access to accrued sick leave and vacation time, plus unpaid leave under the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  However, many younger workers have no accrued sick leave or vacation time, and many workers of all ages cannot afford to take the unpaid leave the FMLA provides.  If this legislation becomes law, 1.8 million federal workers will benefit directly.

We look forward to working with Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), a dedicated champion of working families and federal employees, to win passage in the Senate so President Obama can sign this bill into law.  At a time when America’s workers are struggling mightily to make ends meet, we must ensure that the birth or adoption of a baby does not cause a descent into poverty. 

Our federal government should be a model employer, giving working parents time to bond with newborns and newly-adopted children so they can lay a foundation for healthy growth and development.  We need the Senate to act quickly."

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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