Eye Opener: Tweaks to Paid Parental Leave?
Happy Thursday! The House will vote either today or tomorrow on granting federal employees four weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child, but it won't happen without at least one more attempt to water it down.
Lawmakers will consider an amendment sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) that would require federal workers to use up all annual and sick leave before using any paid parental leave. The amendment also classifies such leave as "advanced" and "subject to recovery," meaning employees would have to make it up later.
“There is no way for Congress to tell nearly 14 million unemployed Americans that 2.7 million gainfully employed federal workers will receive additional benefits at a projected cost close to $1 billion," Issa said in a statement.
“It’s not that federal employees shouldn’t receive paid leave for hospitalization, recovery
and adjustment time following the birth of a new child – it just shouldn’t come at the expense of an American workforce struggling to make ends meet," he said, predicting his amendment would allow the bill to pass "with overwhelming bipartisan support.”
At the heart of the issue is cost: Issa and conservatives believe the bill's price tag will surpass $1 billion while Democratic supporters have suggested it's a pay-go, or budget neutral bill. (A point recently disputed by CNN.)
Thoughts? Discuss in the comments section below.
• Cabinet and Staff News: Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra (exclusively) tells Federal News Radio about his plans for the new office. Eric Holder, Janet Napolitano and Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske announce the administration's new southwest border strategy tomorrow in New Mexico. Steven Chu calls the accidental nuclear disclosure of "great concern." A look at how SEC's Mary Schapiro hopes to reshape the agency. FEMA's Craig Fugate says he will devote considerable efforts to boosting citizen participation in disaster preparedness, a shift from previous emergency management perceptions of the general public as a liability.
• Precedent Reinstated In Deportation Cases: Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. overturned a Bush administration ruling in January that immigrants do not have a constitutional right to effective legal counsel in deportation proceedings.
• Inspector Predicted Problems a Year Before Buffalo Crash: More than a year before a twin-engine turboprop flown by Colgan Air crashed, an FAA inspector complained to his superiors about the rocky start the airline was having with that model.
• Flu Fears Spur a Stimulus Debate: The White House requests $2 billion to prepare for a possible resurgence of the swine flu this fall and also asks for the authority to take $3.1 billion out of the $311 billion in discretionary stimulus funds.
• DOJ Probes Hiring Practices in Silicon Valley: It's investigating whether a number of large U.S. companies violated antitrust laws by establishing agreements not to recruit each other's employees. Companies targeted include Google, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft and Genentech.
• FDA Chief Endorses Fees on Food Companies: Margaret Hamburg likes a proposal imposing new fees on food companies, as an industry group warns that fees to finance inspections, if poorly designed, could create a conflict of interest.
• Panel Challenges HHS Request for Disease-Specific Funding: The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee is challenging the Obama administration’s 2010 budget request that funding be directed to cancer and autism research.
• Today's Big Event: "Recruiting and Hiring Tomorrow's Federal Workforce: Expectations and Demands of the Next Generation of Public Servants." Tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. at the National Press Club. RSVP here.
| June 4, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Eye Opener, Workplace Issues
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