Federal workers in Missouri likely were happy to hear that President Obama recently announced that federal agencies will begin providing their employees with a minimum of six weeks’ paid parental leave. Additionally, the president urged Congress, cities and states to do right by their workers and provide similar leaves to American workers.

While the Republican majority in Congress is likely to ignore his call to action, the president also urged legislative approval for passage of the Healthy Families Act, a proposal to give millions of American workers the opportunity to earn up to a week’s worth of annual sick leave. This bill was first launched in 2009, yet even in a Democratically-controlled legislature, it went nowhere.

The bill, first introduced in 2009, languished even under a Democratic-controlled Congress.

A senior White House advisor announced the president’s plan on LinkedIn, an employment website, noting that the issue of paid leave keeps popping back into the spotlight as more and more states sign legislation giving their workers more leave.

One member of the Council of Economic Advisers, estimated that the price of Obama’s proposal for paid leave for federal workers would be $250 million in the first year.

States that initiate their own programs could receive matching grants to make up administrative costs and half the benefits’ costs. The president was mum on how states could make up the difference in costs.

It is too early to determine the effect the new leave plans will have on Missouri workers, or if the state government will decide to follow the president’s initiative and grant the state’s workers more paid leave time. However, if you experience disputes over leave or other employment-related issues with your company, a Missouri employment law attorney can offer legal remedies.

Source: Miami Herald, “Obama will offer paid parental leave to federal workers” Lesley Calrk, Jan. 14, 2015