Federal Managers Association
- FMA'S WOUNDED WARRIORS FEDERAL LEAVE INITIATIVE NOW AWAITS PRESIDENT'S SIGNATURE - October 27, 2015
Alexandria, VA - The Federal Managers Association (FMA) is thrilled to announce on Monday, October 26, the Senate unanimously passed FMA's initiative, the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act (H.R. 313), which provides 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), will provide necessary leave to attend medical appointments for service-related injuries without exhausting both sick and annual leave. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced similar legislation, which gained unanimous support in the Senate. As H.R. 313 already passed unanimously in the House, this is the last step before the President signs the legislation into law. FMA National President Patricia Niehaus released the following statement on the bill's passage in the Senate.
"The federal workforce is proud to be the largest employer of military veterans. After a military career, these dedicated men and women often continue their service to their country within the federal workforce. However, many unfortunately suffer from chronic medical conditions caused by a military service-related injury. As first year federal employees begin their federal career with a zero-sum balance of sick leave, these men and women often find themselves struggling between available leave and attending medically necessary VA appointments. H.R. 313 ensures those who qualify as thirty percent disabled or greater by the VA will receive 104 hours of sick leave to be used within their first twelve months of federal service for needed medical attention. 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 employees with the care they need and deserve.
"I am ever grateful that Members of Congress recognized the invaluable services these veterans provide the federal government. These brave 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 necessary medical attention and exhausting leave. The federal government has long strived to be a model employer. By recognizing the needs of disabled veterans who enter the federal workforce, the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act steps closer towards this goal.
"FMA would like to sincerely thank Representative Lynch and Senator Tester, as well as Representative Farenthold and Senator Moran, for their dedication to the federal workforce and its disabled veterans. FMA looks forward to President Obama signing this common-sense legislation into law. I am 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."