Legislation offered in the House (HR-1022) would provide federal employees six weeks of paid leave following the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. Similar bills have been offered for many years but have not advanced in Congress apart from House approval in 2008 when that chamber was under Democratic control. The Obama administration proposed paid parental leave in its annual budgets but did not make it a top legislative priority–however, it did issue a 2015 memo generally requiring agencies to provide advanced sick leave for that purpose. Under current law, employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child; they commonly use sick leave and/or annual leave for part of that time, if they have such paid leave time available. Meanwhile, a bill (S-338) offered in the Senate seeks to ensure that federal scientists can communicate their findings with the public, news media and Congress, while requiring agencies to carry out scientific integrity policies and ensure procedures are in place to report instances when such policies are broken and that whistleblowing employees are protected. Agencies would have to post scientific integrity policies online and provide them to new employees, as well.
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