[NOW Actions] Help Pass Paid Leave for New Parents
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NOW Action Alert
Support NOW's Work | September 8, 2008 | Tell a Friend

Action Needed

Background

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Support family-friendly workplaces!

Help Pass Paid Leave for New Parents

Right now 1.8 million federal workers need your support as they balance their work and family obligations. Ask your senator to sponsor the bill that will provide a modest amount of paid parental leave for these government workers and their families.

Virginia Senators Jim Webb (D) and John Warner (R) have introduced the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act (S.3140), which will guarantee four weeks of paid leave for federal workers for the birth or adoption of a child.

Ask your senators to sponsor this bill. ACT NOW!

Action Needed:

The federal government -- the nation's largest employer, with more than 1.8 million civilian employees -- should set the example of workplace policies that truly meet the needs of today's working families. When enacted, a paid parental leave bill for federal workers will serve as a critical benchmark for achieving paid family and medical leave for all workers. This legislation is a first step toward providing economic support for new families, because no worker should have to choose between their paycheck and their new child, especially in these tough economic times.

TAKE ACTION NOW! Please tell your senators to support working women and their families by cosponsoring S.3140. There is a place for you to customize the text of the email. We suggest that you personalize it by telling your family's story about why paid leave is important and family friendly. And please share this email with your friends and family members and everyone you know who works for the federal government.

Background:

In June, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed their version of the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act (H.R.5781). Now it is the Senate's turn, and there are only a few short weeks left for them to sponsor and pass S.3140 We need as many sponsors as possible to get it to the floor for a vote before the Senate adjourns, otherwise the bill will die when Congress goes home this fall. Every sponsor who comes on board now will be more committed votes we have if Sen. Webb has to reintroduce this bill next year, so our efforts will not be wasted.

The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act provides four weeks of paid parental leave to male and female employees of the federal government who are new birth parents or new adoptive parents and who are eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The bill also enables workers to use up to eight weeks of accrued paid sick time during the remainder of their FMLA leave for a new child. The bill gives the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) authority to increase the number of weeks of paid parental leave from four to eight weeks once further studies are conducted.

Paid parental leave will not affect federal agencies' ability to do their work because these agencies already have policies and procedures in place to cover for absent employees. According to anecdotal evidence gathered recently from the Department of Labor, leave to care for a new child -- which can be planned for and is usually taken in blocks of time -- is the simplest kind of leave for employers to administer. For moderate income workers and those new to the federal workforce, who have not built up their sick and vacation leave, this will be an important economic support and a pro-family policy that will set an example for the rest of the nation. Passing a paid parental leave bill for federal workers is a beginning step toward achieving paid family and medical leave for all workers.

TAKE ACTION NOW! The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act needs our support! Please urge your senators to support working women and their families by cosponsoring S.3140. Let's make sure our federal government paves the way for the rest of the nation's employers to follow.

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