National Consumers League

NCL applauds introduction of paid parental leave, a ‘common-sense’ worker protection


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January 27, 2015

Contact: Ben Klein, National Consumers League, benk@nclnet.org, (202) 835-3323

Washington, DC – The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, applauds the introduction of the Federal Employee Paid Parental Leave Act, which would provide six weeks of paid parental leave to federal workers. The current federal government policy gives workers 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave and workers can choose to substitute paid sick or annual leave if they want.

“The United States is the only developed nation that does not provide its labor force paid parental leave, and that’s an embarrassment,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL executive director. “Following the birth of a child, workers should not be forced to choose between a paycheck and caring for their newborn. The federal government, as the nation’s largest employer, can lead the way and set an example for private companies that mandatory paid parental leave is a common-sense worker protection.”

In his 2015 State of the Union address on January 20, President Obama said, “Today, we’re the only advanced nation on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or maternity leave to our workers.”

Seizing on the momentum from the State of the Union address, a group of Democratic representatives, led by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), introduced the Federal Employee Paid Parental Leave Act. This legislation was twice passed in the House in 2008 and 2009, receiving bi-partisan support. In 2008, 50 Republicans supported the measure, and 24 did so in 2009.

Currently, only 13 percent of American workers have access to paid family leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.