PEEK

Family Values: House Passes Paid Parental Leave Bill

Bill would cover all federal employees.
Yesterday, the House passed a bill that would provide for paid parental leave for all federal employees to care for a newborn, or newly-adopted child:
The House on Thursday passed legislation that would institute a paid parental leave policy for all federal employees.
The House voted 278-146 to pass H.R. 5781, which would provide four weeks of paid maternal or paternal leave for the birth or adoption of a child. It would, for the first time, let new parents use their accrued sick leave for an additional eight weeks of paid leave.
Under current law, employees can use only a combination of paid annual leave, sick leave and unpaid leave under the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act for childbirth or adoption. Parents can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity or paternity leave and are limited to 13 days of paid sick leave to care for newborn or adopted children.
"If we're ever going to have the kind of federal workforce that we can all be proud of ... then we have to be able to keep pace with the private sector," Rep. Danny K. Davis, D-Ill., said at a Thursday news briefing. "I am not one of those individuals who believe that if you want something done well, you get the private sector do it." [Government Executive]
Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced companion legislation in the Senate this week.

The leave bill passed the House by a comfortable margin, but not a veto-proof majority. President Bush is expected to veto the bill if it comes across his desk. How's that for Family Values?
Lindsay Beyerstein a New York writer blogging at Majikthise.