Family Responsibility Discrimination Update

Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act (H.R. 5781) Passes the House

The FMLA mandates that employers of a certain size give parents 12 weeks’ leave, and allow them to return to the same or substantially similar position. But with the exception of a few states who have enacted states requiring that some amount of this leave be paid, employers have no obligation to pay for any parental leave.

That may soon change for the nation’s largest employer. On June 19, 2008, the House passed the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act (H.R. 5781) by a 278-146 vote. H.R. 5781 provides federal employees with four weeks of paid parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child. A bipartisan companion bill has been introduced in the Senate. Stay tuned until after the November elections to see what kind of momentum this one builds!


Workplace Flexibility Across Borders WorkLife_Law_Center

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research in conjunction with the Center for WorkLife Law recently released “Statutory Routes to Workplace Flexibility in Cross-National Perspective.” The report presents an interesting statutory overview of what 21 high income countries, including the U.S., are doing or not doing in the area of workplace flexibility. Many of these countries have some form of “flexible working statutes,” which put the burden on the employer to defend why it will not allow a flexible working schedule.

The report notes U.S. legislation—the U.S. Working Families Flexibility Act—which was introduced by Sen. Ted Kennedy and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and modeled after the United Kingdom and New Zealand laws. Intrigued? You can read the whole report on WorkLife Law’s website.