December 16, 2019

How paid parental leave for federal workers could spur wider changes

Nation Dec 16, 2019 12:24 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government’s 2.1 million employees will get paid parental leave for the first time, a galvanizing moment in the growing movement to bring the benefit to all U.S. workers.

The benefit, which gives 12 weeks of paid leave to mothers and fathers of newborns, newly adopted children or foster children, is part of a defense bill expected to receive final congressional approval Tuesday. President Donald Trump has said he will sign it into law.

The new policy aligns the federal government with many of the country’s most powerful companies, which have been leading the charge in aggressively expanding parental leave benefits. It also could set a high standard for other employers, both because of the length of time offered and because the policy would apply to all new parents, not just birth mothers.

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