The US House of Representatives approved the Federal Paid Parental Leave Act last night on a 258 to 154 vote. The bill would provide 4 weeks of paid parental leave to Federal Employees after the birth or adoption of a child. If the Senate approves the legislation, President Obama is expected to sign the bill.
After the bill’s passage, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said “As the nation’s largest employer, the federal government should offer competitive benefits to those already offered in the private sector….Family-friendly practices help improve children’s health and development; they also reduce turnover,” reported the Washington Post. Currently, the federal government does not offer any paid parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who sponsored the bill, said in a statement: “As more families are relying on just one paycheck in these times, we can’t afford not to help them in this way. The federal government should join the majority of the private sector– including 75 of the Fortune 100– by enacting workplace policies that invest in employees and their children…It’s just unacceptable that right now the U.S. is the only industrialized country that does not provide support for federal workers with a new child. 168 countries are ahead of us, and we are tied with Lesotho, Liberia, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland.” Maloney also hosted a press conference yesterday with Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) in support of the bill.