Employer groups are closely watching a bill that provides federal employees with four weeks’ paid “bonding leave” when they become new parents. The bill got approved by the U.S. House and now heads to the Senate.
Some employer groups fear the bill would become the model for a similar bill mandating paid parental leave for employees in the private sector. Here are the basics of the bill that’s in Congress now:
- It would cover the 2 million people employed by the federal government — the nation’s largest employer.
- The employees would get four weeks’ paid leave immediately following the birth or adoption of a child.
- Mothers and fathers would receive equal leave benefits.
- Congressional estimates of the cost to implement the bill run up to $140 million a year.
Congressional supporters of the bill contend that 75% of Fortune 100 companies provide paid parental leave to employees already, and 168 other countries provide similar parental leave.