Press Releases

Wexton, Maloney, Hoyer, Beyer, Introduce Bill to Provide Paid Family Leave for Federal Workers

Members joined with advocates and representatives from federal employee unions, along with workers harmed during recent shutdown

Washington, DC, March 5, 2019

Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05), and Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08) joined with federal employees, workers’ rights advocates and unions to introduce legislation that would provide 12 weeks of paid family leave for federal employees.  

The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA) would guarantee paid leave for all instances covered by the FMLA, which currently only guarantees unpaid leave. 

“I have tens of thousands of federal workers in my district, the most of any freshman member of Congress, so I’m especially proud to cosponsor the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act. Not only is this legislation sound economic policy—it is critical that we stand up for federal workers,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “Federal workers just endured the longest government shutdown in history, working long hours for no pay for 35 days. Especially in the face of a hostile administration, the past few months have been understandably demoralizing for our federal workforce. If we hope to attract the best and brightest into public service, we need to support policies like paid leave.” 

“Paid family leave for federal employees isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “Paid family leave improves productivity, reduces turnover, boosts morale and attracts and retains more talent, which is exactly what our federal workforce deserves right now. We’re the only developed country in the world without some sort of paid leave policy. That needs to change. I’m proud to introduce the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act to give our federal employees 12 weeks of paid family leave and honored to have the support of Leader Hoyer, Congressman Beyer, and Congresswoman Wexton, along with our amazing advocates for families and federal employees.”

“I’m proud to stand with my colleagues and with advocates to introduce this bill, which is long overdue,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. “Hardworking federal workers deserve paid parental leave to bond with their children and acclimate to parenthood.  Doing so benefits not only these employees and their families but also helps our nation recruit and retain the most competitive and talented workers into public service.”

"It’s a travesty that the U.S. government comes in last among developed nations when it comes to paid parental leave,” said Congresswoman Don Beyer. “A benefit critical to starting a healthy family. Forcing new parents to choose between their child and a paycheck is an archaic practice that needs to end.”

The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (ACT) would guarantee 12 weeks of paid leave: