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NAAUSA Supports H.R. 532

NAAUSA supports legislation to provide six weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees.

The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2015, H.R 532, would guarantee federal employees six weeks of paid parental leave for the birth of a child or placement of a child with the employee for either adoption or foster care. The legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).

NAAUSA President Steve Cook, in endorsing the parental leave legislation, noted “The evidence shows that providing paid parental leave is good for children’s health and development, boosts employee morale and productivity, and saves costs for employers by reducing turnover.”

Paid parental leave would be a significant benefit for younger AUSAs and their families. Currently, the federal government offers no paid parental leave to its employees. New employees are left to cobble together what they can from sick/annual leave, which they accumulate at the lowest rate. That amounts to only about four weeks per year. This means that a new AUSA would have to work for the Department of Justice for at least two years to earn the bare minimum required to take parental leave—and that is without using a single hour of leave in two years for a doctor’s appointment or a vacation. Then, new AUSAs have no leave remaining for when the new child inevitably gets sick. When faced with the unavailability of parental leave, some talented AUSAs decide simply not to return to their jobs following the birth of a child and pursue employment opportunities instead in the private sector. Ironically, the financial costs of attrition are greater for the federal government than the costs of paid parental leave. It will cost 20% of an employee’s salary to hire and train their replacement, but it will cost only 10% to provide an employee with six weeks of paid parental leave.

Competitiveness with the private sector also remains important. For attorneys working for the federal government, the lack of paid parental leave stands in sharp contrast to the private sector. In a recent survey of fifty-eight major national law firms, the majority offered at least 16 or more weeks of paid parental leave. Every law firm participating in the survey offered at least 8 weeks of paid parental leave. Obviously, private sector competition for top legal talent cannot afford to refrain from providing paid parental leave.

Click  pdf here (1.98 MB)  to read letter. Click here to read legislation.

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The National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys (NAAUSA) is the voice of Assistant United States Attorneys in the Department of Justice and Congress helping safeguard justice and promoting the interests of AUSAs.

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