Washington D.C. – Federal employees who experience a family medical crisis would receive paid leave to care for their loved one under legislation introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and endorsed by the National Treasury Employees Union.
The Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act (S. 1158) would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave for employees who need to be home because a spouse, parent or child falls seriously ill. The leave could also be used for personal illness or to help a family member who is active-duty military prepare for a deployment.
“Federal employees are middle-class workers and too often they are forced to sacrifice their paycheck and take unpaid leave because of an extended medical crisis,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “Senator Schatz’ legislation would provide our nation’s civil servants the financial stability to stay home when they are needed the most.”
The proposal is similar to legislation introduced in the House in January, which was also endorsed by NTEU.
“The new paid parental leave program has been life-changing for federal employees around the country who need extra time at home to care for their growing families, and expanding the program to cover serious medical issues would be equally significant,” Reardon said.
According to Schatz’ legislation, a federal employee must have worked for a federal agency for at least 12 months to qualify for the paid leave. Importantly, the legislation does not require an employee exhaust all their sick or annual leave before applying for the paid family and medical leave.
“Paid family leave is a compassionate workplace policy that treats employees with the dignity and respect they deserve, helps the government become the model employer it should be, and assists federal agencies with recruiting and retaining the skilled workers they need to serve the American people,” Reardon said.
NTEU represents employees in 34 federal agencies and offices.