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Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees

Summary of Paid Parental Leave

Beginning October 1, 2020, paid parental leave may be granted in connection with a qualifying birth or placement (for adoption or foster care). The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA) makes paid parental leave available to certain categories of Federal civilian employees.  As a result, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provisions were amended in Title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.) to provide up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave to covered Federal employees in connection with the birth or placement (for adoption or foster care) of a child occurring on or after October 1, 2020.  

Paid parental leave granted in connection with a qualifying birth or placement under FEPLA is substituted for unpaid FMLA leave and is available during the 12-month period following the birth or placement.  In order to be eligible for paid parental leave under FEPLA, a Federal employee must be eligible for FMLA leave under 5 U.S.C. 6382(a)(1)(A) or (B), and must meet FMLA eligibility requirements.  

Paid parental leave under FEPLA is limited to 12 work weeks and may be used only during the 12-month period beginning on the date of the birth or placement involved.  Within these 12 work weeks, paid parental leave is available as long as an employee has a continuing parental role with the child whose birth or placement was the basis for the leave entitlement.  

Under FEPLA, an employee may not use any paid parental leave unless the employee agrees in writing, before commencement of the leave, to subsequently work for the applicable employing agency for at least 12 weeks.  This 12-week work obligation begins on the employee’s first scheduled workday after such paid parental leave concludes.

Paid Parental Leave Bulletin and Forms

HR Bulletin #249, Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees

Agreement to Complete 12-Week Work Obligation

Types of Supporting Documentation for the Use of Paid Parental Leave