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:
After we passed paid family leave for all federal employees:— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 19, 2019
Why are Republicans now deciding to block a fix to make sure over 100,000 employees, including many at FAA and TSA, don’t get left out? https://t.co/SlLQj5Rg66
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.