Tick Tock: Is Now the Time for Paid Family Leave?

2021 Workplace Policy Conference

Workplace flexibility and leave were at the forefront of the workplace policy agenda in 2020. Last year, Congress enacted the first-ever paid leave requirement for the private sector and paid parental leave for most federal workers in response to the pandemic.

In recent years, several states have enacted new paid leave programs and the pandemic could propel federal policymakers to pursue a national paid leave program. During this session, we’ll examine the impact a federal policy would have on employers, and how changes may impact paid leave programs already in place.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will:

  1. Get an overview of current state paid family leave programs and gain insights on the latest employer paid leave trends and solutions employers are implementing to address the work-life needs of a 21st century workforce.
  2. Hear directly from policy experts about the various pending paid leave proposals being considered by Congress, what impact these policies may have on employers and how you can advocate for change.
Date(s) & Time(s): 
Monday, April 19, 2021 - 1:00pm to 1:50pm

Adrienne Schweer


A Nebraska native, Schweer first came to Washington, D.C., to work for then-Sen. Chuck Hagel, following many years of working in campaigns, including those of Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). After her years of service on Capitol Hill, Schweer joined the rock star Bono’s non-profit organization, The ONE Campaign, where she led partnership strategy and advocacy in support of African development, including maternal and child health.

From 2014 to 2017, Schweer served as chief of protocol to Defense Secretaries Chuck Hagel, Ashton Carter, and Jim Mattis in the Pentagon. During her tenure, she proposed and led creative new initiatives to raise the profile and advance the priorities of the Secretary of Defense, including helping roll out a 12-week paid maternity leave policy for the military.

In 2018, she helped BPC stand up the first bipartisan Paid Family Leave Task Force and has been working on bipartisan, bicameral paid family leave policy at the federal level. 

She and her husband have three young daughters and a son.

Yelena Vaynberg


At IBM’s Government and Regulatory Affairs, Yelena is responsible for managing global workforce policy issues, including employee benefits and paid leave as well as emerging technology workforce policies. Before joining the workforce policy team, she served on IBM’s congressional relations team supporting direct Capitol Hill advocacy and relationship building to advance the company’s public policy priorities.

Prior to joining IBM, she spent over a decade working on Capitol Hill in various capacities helping advance legislative priorities on behalf of diverse constituencies in her home state of Minnesota. Previously, Yelena managed international development programs at the International Republican Institute (IRI) where she administered educational trainings for Iraqi parliamentary staff. Yelena received her B.A. in International Relations from the University of Minnesota and a M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. She and her husband and daughters live in Takoma Park, Maryland.

Cheryl Vincent


Cheryl Vincent serves as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support for the Committee on Ways and Means (Republicans). The subcommittee oversees several federal programs including unemployment insurance, child welfare, child support, and child care. She also leads the Committee’s work on paid family leave.

Cheryl was previously a policy advisor on child care and paid family leave at the White House Office of Economic Initiatives, and senior advisor for legislative affairs at the Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Prior to that, she worked as professional staff on the Ways and Means Committee leading efforts to reform the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. She also has state experience, having worked in her home state of Ohio as deputy director in the Office of Human Services Innovation under former Governor John Kasich. Vincent began her career at HHS working for more than a decade on programs to support working families.

Cheryl received her Bachelor’s from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.





Lisa K. Horn

Lisa K.
Session Type: 
Concurrent Session
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