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President Kelley Applauds House Paid Parental Leave Bill

Thursday, February 7 2013

Washington, D.C.— The leader of the largest independent union of federal employees welcomed the introduction of an NTEU-supported House bill that would provide all federal employees with four weeks of paid parental leave upon the birth or adoption of a child.

“This paid parental leave act will make a significant difference in the lives of both parent and child,” NTEU National President Colleen M. Kelley said. “It is time for the federal government, as the largest employer in this country, to step up and make parental leave benefits a reality–not a mirage that few can afford to use.”

Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) introduced the bill, H.R. 517, the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act on the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act. President Kelley recognized their leadership and said the union will work to pass this legislation in the 113th Congress.

The union has worked diligently for over two decades to assist NTEU-represented employees in the use of their FMLA rights, which include up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for federal workers for the birth or adoption of a child.

However, few federal workers can afford to take weeks of unpaid leave. H.R. 517 would allow federal workers to substitute any leave without pay under FMLA with four weeks of paid leave in addition to any leave accrued or accumulated.

“While the FMLA has been a terrific first step in helping employees balance family and work needs,” President Kelley said, “no federal employee with a new child should be forced to choose between a paycheck and caring for the newest member of the family.”

NTEU has consistently urged members of Congress to pass parental leave benefits for federal workers that are comparable to what is available in the private sector.

NTEU is the largest independent federal union, representing 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.

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