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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Oct. 5, 2020

Paid Parental Leave: updates you need to know

By MyCG Staff

A quick look at the new paid-parental leave policy for federal employee

  1. It’s new. The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act, signed into law last December, gives full-time federal employees access to up to 12 weeks of paid time off for the birth, adoption or placement of a new child.
  2. Timing is everything. The new policy takes effect on October 1, 2020. That means if a new family member arrives on Sept. 30, you are not eligible for the new benefits.
  3. You earn 12 weeks after you’ve worked for 12 months. Full or part-time employees who have been employed for 12 months in a federal role with an appointment of at least one year are eligible. 
  4. Use it during that first year, or lose it. Paid parental leave cannot be carried over year to year. The 12-week benefit expires one year from the date your new family member arrives.
  5. You need it in writing. USCG employees should use these USCG forms: 
  6. Paid Parental Leave Request and Paid Parental Leave Service Agreement
  7. Paid parental leave starts the day your little one arrives. Paid parental leave should be taken after a child is born, adopted or placed in the household. Other forms of paid or unpaid time off is an option if you are planning to be out of the office before the big day. 
  8. It’s not just for babies. This leave is available to support parents and families who adopt a child of any age, within one year of the adoption, regardless of the child’s age. 
  9. Both parents are eligible to take leave. Providing parental leave to both parents, regardless of sex or gender identity, enables federal parents of all kinds to bond with their new family member.
  10. There’s no limit to the number of times you can utilize the leave.  Similar to FMLA, there is no limit on how many times you can use this benefit. While PPL can only be used once in a year’s time, there is no waiting period between children.
  11. This is a civilian benefit.  Active duty Coast Guard families are entitled to a separate leave policy that applies to uniformed service members. The leave options cannot be combined.  


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