Bill Seeks to Expand Family Leave for Federal Workers

January 12, 2007 ( - Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has introduced a new bill designed to provide improved flexibility for federal employees after childbirth and adoption.

The Family Leave Act (FLA) would update and improve the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA) passed by Congress in 1993, which currently guarantees that mothers, fathers, and adoptive parents are given 12 weeks of leave for childbirth and newborn care. However, this law does not require paid leave during this period.  

The FLA would provide at least eight weeks of paid leave for a mother after childbirth, while requiring a minimum of one week of paid leave for fathers and adoptive parents who work for the federal government.

Responsible Parenting Leave

According to a  press release from Senator Stevens , FLA would also provide parents with up to eight paid hours of “responsible parenting” leave. Parents who work for the federal government would be able to use this annual leave to attend their children’s school functions and take their children to medical appointments.

“This measure will provide hardworking American families with the necessary flexibility to care for their newborn and newly adopted children,” said Senator Stevens. “It will provide time for mothers to recover after childbirth without having to worry about the financial burdens that come with unpaid leave. Thousands of Alaska women work for the federal government and could benefit under this new program.”