Senator Webb Introduces Paid Parental Leave Bill


6/18/08: Senator Jim Webb (D. Va.) has introduced a paid parental leave bill identical to HR 5781, which is expected to be voted on in the House this week. Yesterday, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley sent Senator Webb a letter expressing NTEU's thanks and support for this action.

Having similar bills in both Houses of Congress increases the chance of enactment of this much-needed legislation. Given that this year is a short legislative session due to the fall elections, it is unclear whether the issue will be finally addressed during this session.

As the following facts demonstrate, paid parental leave is needed in the federal government:

  • Seventy-five percent of Fortune 100 companies provide paid parental leave upon the birth or adoption of a child. The median length of leave is six to eight weeks.
  • The federal government is struggling to recruit and retain a qualified workforce. While we cannot compete with the private sector on salaries, family-friendly benefits could help attract workers.
  • In addition to reducing turnover, paid parental leave can lead to increased productivity, better morale, and reduced absenteeism.