Yesterday, Sen. Brian Schatz (HI) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (MD) introduced legislation to provide six weeks of paid leave for federal workser for the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. In introducing the legislation, which is supported by NTEU, the Senators pointed out that the U.S. is the only industrial nation in the world without paid parental leave. Although the Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical and family issues, many working families cannot afford to go without a paycheck. Sen. Schatz’s legislation would ease the pressure on employees who are struggling to be good parents and good public servants.
"While private companies are beginning to see the benefits of providing paid family leave," Sen. Schatz stated, "America is still the only industrial nation in the world without a program that gives working parents the time off and income they need to care for a new child.”
Studies have shown that providing paid parental leave could save the government at least $50 million annually in turnover and replacement costs, while attracting and retaining talented workers. A companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives (HR 532) by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY) in February. That bill has 56 cosponsors. NTEU will provide the bill number for the Senate bill on its website.