Federal lawmakers have reached a deal on a must-pass defense spending bill that includes a provision that would give non-military federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave.

The conference of Senators and House members recently approved the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision that would provide federal employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. The legislation would have to pass both chambers of Congress before forwarded to President Donald Trump for his signature into law.

If signed into law, the benefit would be similar to the paid parental leave offered to service members. Labor unions and other worker advocates have been lobbying for extending paid parental leave to federal workers. 

“Congress after Congress, we pushed for a reasonable benefit to help federal workers care for their families in times of need,” said NFFE-IAM Federal District 1 President Randy Erwin.  “Parental Leave was a priority during our Legislative Weeks, and our persistence paid off.”

Congress is working against a Dec. 21 deadline. That’s when a continuing resolution on spending expires and could trigger a government shutdown unless a deal is reached.

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