HOUSE PASSES FMA'S WOUNDED WARRIOR FEDERAL LEAVE INITIATIVE - September 28, 2015
Alexandria, VA - The Federal Managers Association (FMA) is excited to announce on Monday, September 28, the House passed, without contention, 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) as thirty percent or more disabled due to a service-related disability. The bill, introduced by Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and cosponsored by Representative Blake Farenthold (R-TX), 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 passage in the House.
"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 needed medical attention. 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.
"I am grateful that the House recognized the invaluable services these veterans provide the federal government. These dedicated men and women gave a tremendous sacrifice to the nation and they choose to continue to serve their country; they should not have to choose between seeking medical attention and exhausting leave. The federal government has long strived to be a model employer. By recognizing the needs of federal employees, H.R. 313 steps closer towards this goal.
"FMA would like to thank Representatives Lynch and Farenthold for their dedication to the federal workforce and its disabled veterans. The Senate already passed its version of the bill, and FMA will work with both chambers on drafting conference language, as the House and Senate bills differ. We are also very grateful to Renee Johnson, FMA's 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 ensures that federal agencies and departments' missions and goals will be met while treating our disabled veteran first year federal employees with the care they deserve."