Thanks to a provision in the fiscal year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), federal employees may soon get another leave benefit: paid parental bereavement leave.
The bill that recently passed Congress (S. 1605) contains a provision that would give federal employees two weeks of paid parental bereavement leave for the death of a child. The benefit would be available during any 12-month period.
Presumably, President Biden will sign the bill into law based on the administration’s recent policy statement on the 2022 NDAA. A policy memo issued last month said, “The Administration strongly supports enactment of a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for a 61st consecutive year and is grateful for the strong, bipartisan work this year by the Senate Armed Services Committee on behalf of America’s national defense.”
Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees
This new leave benefit follows another paid leave benefit that was given to federal employees last year: paid parental leave.
The FY 2020 NDAA contained a provision that gave federal employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was one of the advocates for paid parental leave for federal employees. However, she voted against the 2022 NDAA when it passed the House this week. She said in a statement:
I voted against the FY22 NDAA because I could not, in good conscience, support a bill which continues to explode the Pentagon’s budget while too many Americans are suffering because our government is underfunding key safety net programs and human needs.
We should be reallocating defense funding to better serve the American people. We need to be investing in our schools, eliminating child poverty and hunger, and continuing rent relief for millions of people who still find themselves still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. No one should be worried about where their next meal is coming from or about keeping a roof over their head in the middle of a global crisis.
While I appreciate the hard, bipartisan work that went into this compromise, I remain committed to reallocating funding to better serve the American people. I will never vote for blanket increases to defense programs without a clear national interest in mind.
Maloney introduced legislation earlier this year that would expand paid parental leave to employees of the Postal Service.
Pay Raise for Military
The 2022 NDAA also authorizes a 2.7% pay raise for members of the military.
The fact that the pay raise was in the version of the bill that passed Congress may help to make a stronger case for pay parity between the military and civilian federal employees. President Biden has proposed a 2.7% pay raise for federal employees, but because the government is operating under a continuing resolution to close out 2021 and a 2022 budget has not yet been passed, it makes the 2022 federal pay raise situation more unclear. We will continue to provide updates about the 2022 federal pay raise as more news becomes available.