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FEW Salutes Senator for Introducing Paid Parental Leave Bill

WASHINGTON, June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Federally Employed Women (FEW) salutes United States Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) for introducing the "Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2008" (S 3140) in the Senate. We also thank Sens. John Warner (R-VA), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), John Kerry (D-MA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) for co-sponsoring this important bill. "We appreciate the support these Senators have given to federal workers in the past and applaud the introduction of this bill yesterday," stated Rhonda Trent, FEW's National President.

The enactment of a Paid Parental Leave bill is a top legislative priority for FEW members. The legislation would provide four weeks of paid leave for federal workers following the birth or adoption of a child. FEW's grassroots advocates have already been sending letters to their legislators in the House urging them to co-sponsor and support this measure (HR 5781). "A similar grassroots effort will be conducted for the Senate," advised Janet Kopenhaver, FEW's Washington Representative. "In addition, co-sponsorship of this bill will be a component of the FEW Congressional Scorecard at the end of this congressional session," added Kopenhaver.

This employee benefit would not only help current federal employees, but would also be a great new incentive for younger generations to work for the federal government. "We all know that over the next five years, large number of retirements are expected in the federal workforce," warned Cecelia Davis, FEW Vice President for Congressional Relations. "Without new employees entering the federal workforce, many services that we all rely on might have to be cut back, including mail delivery, assistance with Social Security and help for our nation's most needy," Davis concluded.

FEW's members have been greatly concerned about the expected wave of retirements and have prioritized their legislative goals to help offset these employee losses. Among the other priorities are enactment of a FERS Redeposit bill (HR 2533) and the SES Diversity bill (HR 3774/S 2148).

There is an added burden in attracting new employees because of competition with the private sector which on average pays more than the federal government. Therefore, employment benefits in the federal government must be at least comparable to the private sector. More than 50 percent of companies in the United States offer some type of parental leave.

Quite simply, new parents should be with their children and enjoy one of the most important moments in their lives. They deserve these four weeks of paid leave to ensure that their children receive all the needed attention and doctor's visits essential to the child's healthy beginning.

FEW is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1968 after Executive Order 11375 was issued that added sex discrimination to the list of prohibited discrimination in the federal government. FEW has grown into a proactive organization serving more than one million federally employed women - both in the military and civilian workforce.

SOURCE Federally Employed Women
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