FMA lauds House bill to help veteran feds

Wednesday - 7/30/2014, 11:04am EDT

By Ellen Kortesoja
Federal News Radio

The Federal Managers Association (FMA) praised Tuesday's introduction of the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act, saying it is the association's top legislative priority for 2014.

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) introduced the bill, H.R. 5229, which would give 104 hours of sick leave to first-year feds who qualify under the Veterans Affairs Department. The hours of sick leave would hopefully allow employees to make all their medical appointments for service-related treatment without using up their sick or annual leave.

Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) co-sponsor the bill.

"Many of these dedicated men and women gave extreme sacrifices and suffer from chronic, life-changing conditions as a result," FMA President Patricia Niehaus said in a statement. "Unfortunately, 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. 5229 would ensure those who qualify as thirty percent disabled or greater by the VA will receive enough sick leave in their first twelve months of federal service."

Niehaus added H.R. 5229 would ensure that the missions and goals of federal agencies and departments would be met while the first-year disabled veterans received treatment.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.