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Among the issues that have been set aside since early in this calendar year—but on which there is pressure to act in the upcoming months—is the gap in a paid parental leave authority for federal employees enacted late last year.

That authority generally provides with up to 12 weeks per 12 months of paid, rather than the current unpaid, leave for birth or adoptions or foster care placements after this September 30. However, the language excluded most employees outside the “Title 5” section of federal personnel law—most numerously, “Title 38” medical personnel, “Title 49” employees of the FAA, and TSA employees other than screeners, who were specifically included.


Bills were quickly introduced in Congress early this year to include those employees and certain other smaller categories left out. However, momentum toward enactment stalled when the attention of both the White House and Congress was refocused on the virus pandemic.

Since then, the only development on the issue has been advocacy by some members of the House to extend make the benefit available for a birth, adoption or foster care placement retroactive to the enactment date of that law last December 20.

The VA has said, though, that even if the law is not changed, it would use a separate authority to extend the benefit to its Title 38 personnel.

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