Paid family leave is getting more attention in the House. A key House committee has announced hearings for next week on a number of proposals related to family and medical leave, the first opportunity in that chamber to bring attention to the gaps in the paid parental leave authority for federal employees enacted last month.
The Ways and Means Committee is to look at bills including HR-1185, to create a nationwide paid family and medical leave benefit, and HR-5456, to expand the categories of persons who can take unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act and to expand the entitlement to some additional situations.
Also pending before Congress – in the Senate, but not yet in the House – is a measure to address what sponsors call a technical error that left gaps in the upcoming paid parental leave provision for federal workers.
That provision will change from unpaid to paid the up to 12 weeks of leave available within a year for the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child, effective with those occurring October 1 and after.
However, that language applies only to the Title 5 personnel system, with the exception of TSA screeners, whom the law specifically included.
In addition to TSA employees other than screeners, major groups of employees left out include FAA employees under Title 49 and VA medical personnel under Title 38 (the VA meanwhile has said that it will use a separate authority to extend the entitlement to them).
While the bill was considered – but then set aside – in the Senate just before the holiday recess, it has not gained attention since Congress reconvened, with the Senate focused primarily on the impeachment trial.
Read more on the FMLA – Family and Medical Leave Act at ask.FEDweek.com