For The Community Action New Narrative Initiative
June, the U.S. House of Representatives took a significant, if overdue,
step to update federal workplace policy and signal that millions of
jobs across the country could become better jobs if other employers
follow that lead. The Washington Post reported on the news and noted that President Bush opposes this job benefit.
not our grandfathers’ workforce anymore, but lots of employers seem to
be pretending that nothing has changed in the last 50 years.
many workers have no paid sick days and no pay for parental leave. It’s
past time for our public and private policy to recognize this reality.
If it becomes law, H.R. 5781,
the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act, will ensure that nearly
two million federal employees will be able to take time off to care for
a new child.
bill’s supporters propose that the federal government provide four
weeks of paid parental leave to federal government workers in all three
branches of government.
surprising that the federal government is behind the curve on this
public policy – the vast majority of Fortune 500 employers already
provide six to eight weeks of paid parental leave, while federal
employees are only entitled to unpaid leave.
The bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Carolyn Maloney noted:
the nation’s largest employer, the Federal Government should be a
leader in family-friendly workplace policy. Not only do we lag behind
the private sector, but we also lag behind what is offered in other
countries. We are the only industrialized country that does not offer
any paid parental leave to all citizens. The European Union requires
that its member-countries offer a minimum of 14 weeks of paid maternity
leave, and most countries exceed that amount.
it will be up to the Senate to pass this legislation. Providing paid
parental leave to all federal workers would help the government with
recruitment and retention. And, importantly, our government would send
a powerful signal to all employers by adopting this necessary work-life
For more information on work-life policy options, check out the new report released by The Mobility Agenda this month.