clock showing paid time off

Bill aims to protect feds' accrued PTO

A group of Democratic lawmakers has introduced legislation that would allow federal workers to carry over their leave during a future pandemic.

“During this pandemic, our nation’s federal workers—including researchers at NIH, workers at IRS and so many others—have been working hard to help fight the virus, provide important services, and keep us safe,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in a statement, continuing, “They’ve been going above and beyond—and it’s unacceptable that their non-stop hard work could mean that they lose the paid leave they have earned.”

Federal workers that accrue over 240 hours of annual leave either lose the hours above the cap or have to to use it before the end of the year.

Using leave hours during a pandemic may not be possible because a worker provides a critical government service for taxpayers, needs to limit exposure to COVID-19, or follows state and local restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, according to the statement.

 “No workers should be stripped of benefits during a pandemic—and that absolutely includes public servants who are working on behalf of the American people,” Murray added.

The Federal Worker Leave Fairness Act would allow all federal workers to carry over the leave they have accrued when a national pandemic prevents employees from taking time off from work.  

Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.), Don Beyer (D-Va.), Ed Case (D-Hawaii), and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) introduced the legislation.

Reader comments

Tue, Oct 6, 2020

The jerks only consider this during an election year. The rest of the years they pick us apart like vultures. Term limits are needed ASAP. No more career minions in congress and senate.

Mon, Oct 5, 2020

Federal regulations already allow this although leave lost has to be restored by the department or agency being worked for. Most will have no problems, but of course some employees will.

Mon, Oct 5, 2020

Will this cover this year? I hope so!

Mon, Oct 5, 2020

This is a great move. However, I think they want people’s vote.

Mon, Oct 5, 2020

The Federal Worker Leave Fairness Act would allow all federal workers to carry over the leave they have accrued when a national pandemic prevents employees from taking time off from work. Does this apply to ALL federal employees or are there restrictions? If passed, will it apply to the current pandemic?

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