Some Feds Excluded from New Paid Parental Leave Benefit

The new paid parental leave law does not apply to some federal employees as written, but some lawmakers want to change that.

A new law was recently passed that will give federal employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child. However, the new law would not apply to some federal employees. Legislation has now been introduced in the Senate that would presumably change that.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration are among the agencies where federal employees would not get the new paid parental leave benefit set to go into effect on October 1, 2020.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently introduced a bill (S. 3104) that would change this by expanding the new benefit to cover these employees. The bill has 6 co-sponsors as of the time of this writing.

Schumer blamed Republicans for the situation in a tweet he sent in advance of introducing the bill:

The video in the tweet above shows Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) giving a speech on the Senate floor in which he explains who would be excluded from the new paid parental leave benefit as things currently stand.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), a union representing air traffic controllers, said in a press release that the union has “received assurances that the benefits of the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act will apply to us even without a legislative fix. That said, having the rights guaranteed in law remains our legislative priority.”

NATCA said it is “confident” that Congress will correct what the union calls a “loophole” in the new paid parental leave law before it is set to take effect next fall.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.