Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees Goes Into Effect Today

The new paid parental leave benefit for federal employees officially goes into effect today. Here is a summary of the key features and eligibility requirements.

The long awaited paid parental leave benefit for federal employees officially goes into effect today, October 1, 2020, meaning eligible federal employees can begin to take advantage of the new benefit for the birth or adoption of a child.

According to the latest guidance released from the Office of Personnel Management on the paid parental leave benefit, federal employees must meet Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility requirements including the following items to qualify for paid parental leave:

  • Employees must have completed at least 12 months of Federal service of a type that is covered under the title 5 FMLA provisions;
  • Employees must have a part-time or full-time work schedule (i.e., employees with an intermittent work schedule are ineligible); and
  • Employees must have an appointment of more than 1 year in duration (i.e., employees with temporary appointments not to exceed 1 year are ineligible).

OPM’s guidance says that federal employees must also invoke FMLA for their child’s birth or adoption to receive the paid parental leave. Paid parental leave is provided via substitution for FMLA unpaid leave and is limited to 12 weeks.

OPM’s summary document offers additional details about the key points and requirements of the new paid parental leave benefit.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.