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Will federal employees see a change to family leave policies?

Federal laws grant federal workers, like everyone else, are certain protections when it comes to family leave. Workers can hold employers accountable that fail to honor these protections.

A recent proposal aims to expand these protections, allowing federal workers to take more paid time off to raise children and care for ill loved ones.

What would change? The proposal would extend the amount of leave with guaranteed paid. Current law allows federal workers six to eight weeks of sick leave. If the worker wishes to extend his or her leave, they can take an additional 12 weeks of unpaid leave as allowed under the Family Medical Leave Act.

The new law would provide a period of paid leave before the worker would need to use his or her sick leave. It would also remove the need for unpaid leave.

As proposed, the bill is gender neutral and extends the paid time to allow for workers to care for sick family members.

Will the proposal become law? This is not the first-time lawmakers have tried to pass this type of legislation. Similar iterations have been presented and have failed. However, two things that work in this proposal’s favor include:

  • Support. President Donald Trump’s daughter spoke on the need to support families at the Republican National Committee.
  • Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score. Unlike past proposals, previous versions of this law have received positive scores from the CBO. The fact that those behind the bill can argue it will save money as opposed to costing money while still allowing families additional time to bond with children or care for loved ones should help strengthen the argument for passage.

We will provide updates on the journey of this proposal as they become available.

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