News from the Whitehouse: On January 15, 2015, President Obama issued a new Presidential Memorandum, "Modernizing Federal Leave Policies for Childbirth, Adoption and Foster Care to Recruit and Retain Talent and Improve Productivity." The new Presidential Memorandum directs agencies to modify present leave regulations and policies in several respects to expand leave entitlements for pregnant women and for parents adopting children in the federal workforce.
In a June 2014 Presidential Memorandum, President Obama had directed agencies to expand workplace flexibilities for federal employees. The new Presidential Memorandum went even further than that June 2014 issuance to ensure certain baseline leave entitlements for pregnant federal employees and for employees seeking to adopt children. First, the new Presidential Memorandum directed agencies to ensure that pregnant women can seek up to 240 hours of advanced sick leave, and to ensure availability of advanced leave for parents with newly adopted children or newly-placed foster children. Second, the Presidential Memorandum instructed agencies to consider providing emergency backup dependent care for employees. Third, to implement these policies (and those from the June 2014 Presidential Memorandum), agencies were ordered to review and update their current leave policies (as well as policies allowing use of unpaid leave beyond the minimums of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and policies concerning nursing mothers in the workplace). As part of this update, agencies are directed to also provide notice to employees of the leave and schedule flexibilities available. President Obama directed agencies to implementation these changes by mid-June 2015, after issuance of guidance by the Office of Personnel Management in April 2015.
If you are a federal employee and wish to discuss your rights concerning leave entitlements or other federal personnel issues, consider contacting Passman & Kaplan, P.C. to request an initial consultation.