Federal Managers Association
- FMA'S WOUNDED WARRIOR FEDERAL LEAVE INITIATIVE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES IN HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE - January 28, 2015
Alexandria, VA - As its first order of business in the 114th Congress on Tuesday, January 27, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee unanimously passed FMA's initiative, the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act (H.R. 313), 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, introduced by Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA), is cosponsored by Representatives Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Walter Jones (R-NC), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), 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 proud to be the largest employer of military veterans. These dedicated men and women often continue their service to their country within the federal workforce after their military career, unfortunately, however, many suffer from chronic and life-changing service-related injuries. As a first year federal employee starting with 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. 313 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. 313 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, the leave this bill provides gives vital time the nations's wounded warriors need to address their disabilities, while continuing their much appreciated service to our country. 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, Connolly, and Norton, for their dedication to the federal workforce and its disabled veterans. We look forward to H.R. 313 advancing through the House, as well as working with members of the Senate in support of the companion bill, S. 242. We are also very grateful to Renee Johnson, Region 2 Director, and all of our members at Chapter 21, Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, 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."