Washington D.C. – Federal employees are eagerly awaiting approval of a paid parental leave program, but the National Treasury Employees Union on Tuesday asked Congress to consider expanding it for employees with critically ill family members.
NTEU National President Tony Reardon submitted testimony supporting paid family leave to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which conducted a hearing on the issue Tuesday.
“Providing paid family leave to federal employees is a win-win for the government. Employees would be allowed time to take care of themselves or a family member with a serious health condition, and agencies would not have to cover the costs of recruiting and training new employees and would be better able to compete with the private sector for talented individuals,” Reardon wrote.
NTEU and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, have worked for many years on legislation giving federal workers the ability to take care of their families in a time of need without giving up their paychecks.
“I hope that we can continue to work together to build on the momentum of this new paid parental leave and expand it to provide paid family leave that is available for all situations covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act,” Reardon wrote.
Reardon also shared some personal stories from NTEU members around the country about how a paid family leave program would have impacted their lives, such as a woman who had to drive 16-hours roundtrip every weekend to see her father in a veterans’ hospice facility because she couldn’t afford to take unpaid leave.
“She was not able to get to the facility in time to be with him in his last hours,” Reardon wrote.
NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments.