President Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Of specific importance to federal employees is the provision that provides for twelve weeks of paid parental leave. The Office of Personnel Management will develop implementing regulations in preparation for the October 2020 date.
Subtitle A—Federal Employee Paid Leave Act
SEC. 7601. SHORT TITLE.
This subtitle may be cited as the “Federal Employee Paid Leave Act”.
SEC. 7602. PAID PARENTAL LEAVE UNDER TITLE 5.
(a) In General.—Subsection (d) of section 6382 of title 5, United States Code, is amended—
(1) by striking “An employee” and inserting “(1) An employee”;
(2) by striking “subparagraph (A), (B), (C),” and inserting “subparagraph (C),”; and
(3) by adding at the end the following:
“(2) (A) An employee may elect to substitute for any leave without pay under subparagraph (A) or (B) of subsection (a)(1) any paid leave which is available to such employee for that purpose.
“(B) The paid leave that is available to an employee for purposes of subparagraph (A) is—
“(i) 12 administrative workweeks of paid parental leave under this subparagraph in connection with the birth or placement involved; and
“(ii) during the 12-month period referred to in subsection (a)(1), and in addition to the 12 administrative workweeks under clause (i), any annual or sick leave accrued or accumulated by such employee under subchapter I.
“(C) Nothing in this subsection shall be considered to require that an employee first use all or any portion of the leave described in subparagraph (B)(ii) before being allowed to use the paid parental leave described in subparagraph (B)(i).
“(D) Paid parental leave under subparagraph (B)(i)—
“(i) shall be payable from any appropriation or fund available for salaries or expenses for positions within the employing agency;
“(ii) shall not be considered to be annual or vacation leave for purposes of section 5551 or 5552 or for any other purpose; and
“(iii) if not used by the employee before the end of the 12-month period (as referred to in subsection (a)(1)) to which it relates, shall not accumulate for any subsequent use.
“(E) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to modify the requirement to complete at least 12 months of service as an employee (within the meaning of section 6381(1)(A)) before the date of the applicable birth or placement involved to be eligible for paid parental leave under subparagraph (B)(i) of this paragraph.
“(F) (i) An employee may not take leave under this paragraph unless the employee agrees (in writing), before the commencement of such leave, to work for the applicable employing agency for not less than a period of 12 weeks beginning on the date such leave concludes.
“(ii) The head of the agency shall waive the requirement in clause (i) in any instance where the employee is unable to return to work because of the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition (including mental health), related to the applicable birth or placement of a child, of the employee or the child.
“(iii) The head of the employing agency may require that an employee who claims to be unable to return to work because of a health condition described under clause (ii) provide certification supporting such claim by the health care provider of the employee or the child (as the case may be). The employee shall provide such certification to the head in a timely manner.
“(G) (i) If an employee fails to return from paid leave provided under this paragraph after the date such leave concludes, the employing agency may recover, from such employee, an amount equal to the total amount of Government contributions paid by the agency under section 8906 on behalf of the employee for maintaining such employee’s health coverage under chapter 89 during the period of such leave.
“(ii) Clause (i) shall not apply to any employee who fails to return from such leave due to—
“(I) the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition as described under, and consistent with the requirements of, subparagraph (F); or
“(II) any other circumstance beyond the control of the employee.”.
(b) Conforming Amendments.—Section 6382(a) is amended—
(1) in paragraph (1), in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) by inserting “and subsection (d)(2) of this section” after “section 6383”; and
(2) in paragraph (4), by striking “During” and inserting “Subject to subsection (d)(2), during”.
(c) Effective Date.—The amendments made by this section shall not be effective with respect to any birth or placement occurring before October 1, 2020.
Full text of the Act is available here – https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1790/text#toc-HF200D18BE4B84C23ACC251869F937F19.