Paid Parental for Federal Workers Leave Signed Into Law

December 21, 2019, 5:00 PM HST (Updated December 21, 2019, 3:54 PM)
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Legislation authored by US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) that secures paid parental leave for federal employees was signed into law by the president.

The new law will provide more than 2 million federal workers with 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child after birth, adoption or the initiation of foster care.

“This new law means that the federal government’s 2 million workers will no longer be forced to choose between getting a paycheck and caring for their children. It’s a huge victory for unions, our federal workforce, and their families,” Schatz said.

Although the current Family and Medical Leave Act provides employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave to take care of a new child, it does not provide any paid leave.

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Studies have shown that providing paid leave for federal employees would save the government at least $50 million annually in turnover and replacement costs. Federal agencies are already struggling to recruit and retain young talent. Just 6% of the federal workforce is under the age of 30, while roughly 40% of the workforce is eligible to retire within the next three years.

Schatz first introduced the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act in 2015.

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