Lawmakers Want Retroactive Application of Upcoming Paid Parental Leave Benefit

A small group of lawmakers want the new paid parental leave policy to be made retroactive to apply to more federal employees.

A small group of House lawmakers are asking House leaders to extend the upcoming paid parental leave policy so that it applies to more federal employees in light of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The National Defense Authorization Act contained a provision that will provide 12 weeks of paid parental to federal employees for the birth or adoption of a child.

According to the recent letter, it is not fair that some federal employees who are either expecting children to be born or recently have become parents before the October 1 start date will not get the new paid leave benefit.

The letter states:

…the October 1, 2020 start date for paid parental leave actually leaves out tens of thousands of federal workers who are pregnant now and expecting before October 1, as well as others who have recently welcomed a new baby. It may seem like a small thing as we enact trillion-dollar relief packages, but in this public health crisis, all affected federal workers should be able to take advantage of our new paid parental leave policy. We respectfully ask that you work with us to extend paid parental leave coverage to all covered and eligible federal workers in connection with a birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child that occurs between December 20, 2019, and October 1, 2020. This would guarantee that all federal workers covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) would be able to properly care for their newborn or newly adopted children. (emphasis added)

December 20, 2019 is the date on which the bill was originally signed into law.

A copy of the letter is included below.

2020-05-08 Parental Leave for Federal Employees Letter

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.