The Need for Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees: Adapting to a Changing Workforce-Executive Summary

Kevin Miller, Allison Suppan Helmuth, Robin Farabee-Siers

August 31, 2009
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The federal government, unlike many large private employers, does not provide paid parental leave
to its employees. The federal government is the largest single employer in the United States, but federal
employees are significantly older and better educated than private sector workers and have already
begun retiring at an increasing rate. The departure of many baby boomers from the federal workforce
will require the government to recruit and retain younger workers, who expect more job flexibility than
workers from previous generations.
The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act would provide four weeks of paid leave for federal
workers who adopt, foster, or have a child. This report discusses the role that providing paid parental
leave to federal employees could play in addressing federal workforce challenges. Providing paid
parental leave for federal workers is expected to improve recruitment and retention of young workers,
preventing $50 million per year in costs associated with employee turnover.