Congress, White House reach tentative deal over parental leave for federal employees

by Jordyn Pair · Dec 9th, 2019 9:45 am

Last Updated Dec 9th, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Congress has struck a tentative deal with the White House that would authorize 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all federal workers.

A must-pass annual defense policy includes a provision that would allow federal workers to take paid leave for a new baby after birth, adoption, or starting foster care. There are currently 2.1 million civilians working for the U.S. government.

Although military service members currently are allowed as much as 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child, civilian employees must use accrued annual or sick leave to continue to collect pay.

To get the new benefit, employees must have worked for the government for at least one calendar year and stay for at least 12 weeks after taking the leave, except in cases of physical or mental issues outside the parent's control.

Supporters say that the change would save money on recruiting and retention. Legislators are waiting on an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

The policy would also establish the Space Force as a separate military service, although it would exist within the Department of the Air Force, similar to how the Marine Corps is its own branch within the Department of the Navy.


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