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The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act - What Does It Mean for Parents in America?

Updated: Apr 9



The Federal Government has passed a new law to provide paid leave to federal employees. I read the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act so you don't have to. Let me explain what it means.


First, what it is not:

It is NOT a federal law granting paid leave for all American parents. It is a law only providing benefits to employees of the federal government while they are on leave.

It is not vacation leave.

It is not a leave entitlement.


What it is:

It is essentially a public benefit system. The law provides that money will be made available during an approved leave of absence. The employee needs to be eligible for a protected leave of absence such as a maternity leave under the FMLA. Click here to learn more about FMLA. If the protected leave is granted, the leave will be paid.


Once the Act is passed, it will apply to any babies born 6 months after the passing of the Act.


Partially due to its brevity, the law is a bit vague on the details. It does not explain if the leave will be at full pay. Because it is silent on this issue, we can assume that it will.


If the law is passed, it will more generous than California family leave, which offers 12 weeks of benefits to mothers at 70% of the salary, and 6 weeks to partners. California is expanding its bonding benefits from 6 to 8 weeks in July 2020.


The federal benefits will come from the federal funds. Private employers will not be entitled to these funds. Hopefully though, private employers will be inspired to offer similar packages to avoid their talented employees leaving to accept jobs at the federal government, as this will be a great recruitment tool for federal jobs.


Every baby step towards paid family leave is a victory. Let's hope that parents will never be forced to choose between bonding with their newborn babies and returning to work prematurely to pay for food and rent. The federal government should set the standard for taking care of its employees and putting our families first. I keep my fingers crossed that the government will do the right thing and pass this law.


DISCLAIMER - This blog is for educational purposes and to give general information and a general understanding of the laws relating to employment law. It is not intended to provide specific legal advice, nor should you use it for that purpose. By using this blog you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Momattorney or Gruenberg Law and you should not use this blog as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. We don't know anything about your particular situation, and the law has many exceptions. If you have a dispute with your employer, you need to consult with an employment lawyer.








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