Fed law enforcement employees, orgs back LEO Equity Act
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Feb 22, 2021
Feds who work in the challenging field of law enforcement, and the organizations that represent them, are embracing legislation they hope—finally—might provide equity and inclusion for their colleagues across all agencies.
A bipartisan bill—the guts of which have been floated previously, numerous times—has been introduced in the House that would standardize full federal law enforcement officer status, and thereby improve pay and benefits packages, for appropriately situated employees across all agencies and departments who are now excluded from such status. The bill was reintroduced by Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), and Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.).
The Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act (H.R. 962) aims to widen the controlling definition of the term “law enforcement officer.” If passed, all feds who are authorized to carry a firearm and whose work involves investigating or apprehending suspects, or previously convicted persons, would fall under the federal “law enforcement officer” (LEO) classification, under Title 5 of the U.S. Code.
At present, federal law treats feds who work in law enforcement in sharply different ways, often for no apparent reason. Those who carry a gun and work under the Federal Protective Service, for example, fall under a lower pay scale and receive lesser retirement benefits than those under other, perhaps more familiar federal law enforcement, such as the FBI.
This is not a small issue. All told, the bill’s backers say that around 30,000 feds who carry out law enforcement duties do not qualify for full LEO status as pertains to pay and benefits.
View the February 22, 2021 FEND issue for the full article.