Schumer: Federal Employees’ Access To Paid Family Leave ‘Symbolic’ For All Workers

WCBS 880 Newsroom
December 08, 2019 - 5:49 pm
Schumer paid family leave

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Federal employees will soon be able to take advantage of paid parental leave—and some hope that will put pressure on private companies to start offering it too.

Sen. Chuck Schumer says all two million federal workers nationwide will be able to use up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave after Democrats and Republicans came to an agreement laid out in the latest National Defense Authorization Act.

“In the defense bill that we have agreed on this week, all federal employees will get three months parental leave,” Schumer said. “If they have a baby, the parent gets it; and if the child is very sick, the parents get the parental leave.”

Schumer says the rule applies to both newborns and newly adopted children.

It’s a big step for federal workers, including about 114,000 in New York State, Schumer says, adding that it’s also a symbolic step for the entire country.

“If you work in a private company, this means that the pressure on your employer will be much greater to give you parental leave as well,” he said.

The U.S. is the only nation in the developed world that doesn’t offer paid time off for new parents.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17 percent of all U.S. workers had access to paid family leave last year.