Fedweek

Washington DC, Dec 2019: Senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump enters stage left for the White House Summit on Child Care and Paid Leave. Paid parental leave has been one of her primary policy goals while at the White House.

The Senate has joined the House in approving a defense spending bill (S-1790) that would allow federal employees to use up to the entire 12 weeks per 12 month entitlement of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act as paid parental leave.

However, under the bill — which President Trump has said he will sign — the new benefit will begin with births, adoptions or foster placements after September 30, 2020. For the meantime, employees still would have to use unpaid leave under the FMLA for those purposes or instead use annual or sick leave to cover all or part of that time.

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The upcoming paid leave entitlement further won’t apply to personal or family medical conditions for which unpaid leave is available under the FMLA; employees may be eligible to use annual or sick leave instead for those purposes in many cases. Any time used as paid parental leave would count against the total 12-week per 12-month entitlement for all purposes under that law.

Supporters say they will try next year to make paid leave available for the full range of purposes for which the FMLA provides unpaid leave, noting that parental leave is of value only to a segment of the workforce whereas virtually all employees could be eligible for the other uses.

Read more on the Family and Medical Leave Act at ask.FEDweek.com

2020 Federal Employees Handbook