Federal employees would be entitled to paid parental leave and to use up to 2 days of sick leave each year for volunteer work, under separate bills recently introduced in Congress.
The Senate's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is considering both a House-approved bill (H.R. 5781), which would provide 8 weeks of paid parental leave to federal workers, and a similar Senate proposal (S. 3140), which would provide 4 weeks of paid leave to federal workers for the birth or adoption of a child. Both bills are known as the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2008.
"Paid parental leave will improve recruitment and retention for federal agencies. The federal government should set the standard for family-friendly workplace policy that supports new families," said Sen. Jim Webb (D-Virginia), who sponsored the Senate version of the bill.
Federal workers also would be able to use 2 days of sick leave per year to perform volunteer community service under H.R. 5922, which was sponsored by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Virginia). "This legislation is about providing our civil service with a benefit on par with what is being offered by some of the more desirable workplaces in the U.S.," he said. "It's not only a recruitment and retention tool but a way to develop a happier, healthier and more highly skilled workforce."
That bill was referred to the House's Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Post Office, and the District of Columbia.