Federal Managers Association
- HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES FMA'S WOUNDED WARRIOR FEDERAL LEAVE INITIATIVE - September 18, 2014
Alexandria, VA - The Federal Managers Association (FMA) is proud to announce the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee unanimously passed on Wednesday, September 17, the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act (H.R. 5229), which would provide 104 hours of sick leave up front to first year federal employees who qualify under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and would provide necessary leave to attend medical appointments for service-related injuries without exhausting both sick and annual leave. FMA National President Patricia Niehaus released the following statement on the bill's committee passage.
"The federal workforce is the largest employer of military veterans. These dedicated men and women often continue their service to their country after their military career throughout federal departments and agencies, however, many unfortunately suffer from chronic and life-changing service related injuries. As a first year federal employee starting with, what Representative Farenthold referred to as an employment quirk, a zero-sum balance of sick leave, these brave men and women often find themselves struggling between available leave and attending medically necessary VA appointments. H.R. 5229 would ensure those who qualify as thirty percent disabled or greater by the VA will receive 104 hours of sick leave to be used their first twelve months of federal service for these VA appointments.
"H.R. 5229 recognizes that newly hired federal employees who are disabled veterans should not have to choose between seeking medical attention and exhausting any leave available. As Representative Lynch noted, these newly employed federal workers are at the most need of medical care, and it is erroneous they do not have access to medically necessary leave. FMA members have seen first-hand the stress this creates in the work environment, as both managers and employees try to meet congressionally-mandated missions and goals. As these disabled veterans served their country on and off the battlefield, it is only right that the federal government provide this much needed leave.
"FMA is grateful for the bipartisan efforts of Representative Lynch, along with Representatives Farenthold, Butterfield, Cummings, Jones, and Norton, for their dedication to the federal workforce and its disabled veterans. We look forward to H.R. 5229 advancing through the House, as well as working with members of the Senate in support of a companion bill. We are also very grateful to Renee Johnson, Region 2 Director and President of FMA Chapter 21 at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, and all of our members at Chapter 21, who brought this issue to our attention. They exemplify the mission of our Association - to advocate excellence in public service. The Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act will ensure that federal agencies and departments' missions and goals will be met while treating our disabled veteran first year federal employees with the treatment they deserve, and ensuring the federal government is a model employer."