(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), joined by Committee on Oversight and Reform Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), today urged House leadership to broaden paid parental leave provisions for federal workers to include pregnant, adoptive, and foster parents expecting a child before October 1, 2020. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 provides 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal workers, but not until October 1, 2020. This start date leaves out tens of thousands of federal workers who are expecting a child before that date. The letter was co-signed by numerous other Representatives from the DMV who have also heard from constituents about this matter: Reps. Donald S. Beyer Jr (D-VA), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), John P. Sarbanes (D-MD), David Trone (D-MD), and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA).

The Members wrote: “… It may seem like a small thing as we enact trillion-dollar relief packages, but in this public health crisis, all affected federal workers should be able to take advantage of our new paid parental leave policy. We respectfully ask that you work with us to extend paid parental leave coverage to all covered and eligible federal workers in connection with a birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child that occurs between December 20, 2019, and October 1, 2020. This would guarantee that all federal workers covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) would be able to properly care for their newborn or newly adopted children.”

“The COVID-19 crisis has exacted a devastating mental, emotional and economic toll on families across America, and the levels of stress and anxiety are especially overwhelming for our constituents who are pregnant and praying for safety during this pandemic.” said Rep. Raskin. “We have heard recently from numerous pregnant federal workers who face an array of complex challenges, like not being able to count on family and friends for child care assistance because of social distancing, not being able to find safe and appropriate paid child care in the crisis, and navigating difficult or cancelled doctor visits. Let us give these people the same support we are offering their colleagues.”

A copy of the letter is available here