Bill Would Provide Parental Leave To Federal Employees

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Parental Leave To Federal Employees

Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Tom Davis (R-Va.) and House MajorityLeader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) earlier this week introduced legislation (HR3158) that would provide female federal employees with eight weeks ofpaid paternal leave, the Washington Post reports. According to the Post, the measure is similar to a bill (S 80) introduced by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) in January.

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Stevens'measure would provide eight weeks of paid leave to female federalemployees after they give birth and five days of paid leave to menwhose partners have given birth (Barr, Washington Post,7/27). The bill also would provide parents eight hours of paid leave totake a child to a physician appointment, meet with a child's teacher orattend a school function. Stevens in March introduced a similar measure(S 880) that would provide female Senate, Government Accountability Office and Library of Congress employees with eight weeks of paid maternity leave and male employees one week of leave (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 3/21).

Maloney also has proposed expanding the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Actto provide at least six weeks of paid leave to eligible federalemployees for the birth or adoption of a child or for a family illness.Stevens and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) also are sponsoring a bill (S 1681) that would provide up to eight weeks of leave for workers who need time off for births, adoptions and family illnesses.

"Thefederal government should be leading the way and providing itsemployees with a truly family-friendly workplace," Maloney said in astatement. Hoyer said paid parental leave "is commonplace in theprivate sector," and it would be "a simple way to recognize the valueof the federal work force." Bush administration officials in past yearshave resisted adding paid paternal leave to federal employee benefits,saying that it would not improve recruitment and retention of employeesand that federal employees already have a "generous package" ofbenefits for family responsibilities, the Post reports.

According to the Post,two hearings on the measure introduced by Hoyer, Davis and Maloney havebeen held, and more are scheduled for after Labor Day (Washington Post, 7/27).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyWomen's Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for emaildelivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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