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Local Congressmen Sponsor Federal Leave Bill

by ARLnow.com September 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm 2,110 23 Comments

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) is among the local congressional sponsors of a new bipartisan bill that allow federal employees to donate unused sick days to “sick leave banks.” The banks would then serves as a way to help federal employees who are suffering prolonged illnesses.

Below is the press release from Rep. Moran’s office.

Today, Representative Jim Moran (VA-08) introduced the “Federal Employees Leave Transfer Act of 2011” to allow federal employees to voluntarily transfer unused sick leave to agency-wide leave banks. Joining Moran as original cosponsors are Representatives Frank Wolf (VA-10), Chris Van Hollen (MD-08), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), and John Sarbanes (MD-03).

The legislation builds upon current annual leave banks in most federal agencies and is expected to be nearly cost neutral. Once enacted, federal employees will be permitted to donate their excess sick leave to agency leave banks, augmenting currently established annual leave banks.

“This legislation provides an equitable way for federal workers to help out fellow employees in times of prolonged illness,” said Congressman Jim Moran. “The success of this policy in the Federal Aviation Administration and in the private sector should be replicated throughout all federal agencies.”

“This legislation increases the pool of available leave days for those federal employees who are, for example, welcoming home a newborn baby or caring for a sick family member. It carries virtually no cost, but will help the federal government remain competitive when attracting new employees,” said Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

“This is a proven policy in the private sector, and I witnessed its success firsthand during my years with Fairfax County, which has a similar policy. If the Federal Government is going to continue recruiting and retaining highly-qualified employees, this must be part of the menu for a competitive benefits package,” said Congressman Gerry Connolly.

Currently, federal employees can apply accrued sick leave towards their retirement annuity calculation in full year or month blocks. Employees nearing retirement must then “use or lose” any remaining sick leave, a practice that once lead to an estimated $68 million in annual lost productivity.

The Federal Aviation Administration is the only federal agency that allows employees to donate both annual and sick leave. FAA employees donated over 22,000 hours of sick leave in FY 2010 alone.

  • TGEoA

    Bullsh!t

    Sick days are not a commodoity to be passed around.

    • drax

      You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • R.Griffon

        Sounds like socialism if you ask me. REAL Americans don’t get sick. And even if they did, they would embrace the opportunity to die broke, alone, and uninsured. It’s the American way.

        (P.S. I’m fairly sure TGEoA is being sarcastic. Who couldn’t love a program like this?)

        • drax

          Let’s see if TG is being sarcastic.

          TG?

        • NPGMBR

          Now That’s What I Call Funny!

  • Clarendon

    We don’t get sick days at my company, but we have the same donation program for vacation. Basically, we have a cap on the number of vacation days you can accumulate so for people who never take vacation and have reached their cap, rather than getting nothing, they can donate their vacation. You can donate when under the cap too, but I think people rarely do that.

  • JimPB

    Awesome –“… FAA employees donated over 22,000 hours of sick leave in FY 2010 alone.”
    _____

    My observation at NIH is that most of the leave donations appear to go from higher paid to lower paid employees. This could well result in a savings to the government (taxpayer).

  • brian

    ‘It will get better”

  • ClarendonBound

    I really don’t like these systems. Americans already get very few sick days, and this will peer-pressure people into giving them up. I would never participate in such scheme; if a colleague needs pro-longed leave because of illness than that is between him and the employer. What we have here is people being guilted into giving away what they are entitled to.

  • KalashniKEV

    I’m actually in favor of this, but only if we reduce the size of the Federal Government to 1/3 of it’s current footprint.

    • yup

      especially the army ranger program

      • R.Griffon

        No, you can’t cut the DoD budget. There is a reason that we spend more than the next several nations combined. You never know when China, France, the UK, Russia, Japan AND Germany will all up and decide to declare war on us at the same time. They may all want to come here and take our freedom, just like Iraq.

        You can never be too careful.

        Instead, you should cut all that money from disaster relief programs. Because unlike terrorism, natural disasters never cause billions of dollars in damage, or leave Americans dead, injured, or homeless. Natural disasters are just a boogeyman perpetuated by the aid and industrial complex in order to line their fat pockets.

        • Lou

          Terrible, terrible analogy. You need to maintain military spending at a relatively constant level for preparedness reasons. Disaster relief over and above what is in the fund can be handled through emergency appropriations when needed.

          • R.Griffon

            > You need to maintain military spending at a relatively constant level for preparedness reasons.

            A good sound byte maybe, but unfortunately also a non sequitur. Who’s to determine what amount of spending constitutes reasonable “preparedness?” Your argument, if valid, suggests that there is no upper limit to establishing preparedness, and that once increased, military spending can NEVER be decreased. Which is exactly how we ended up where we are today (or at least along with a lack of foresight in Social Security and a failure to control healthcare costs).

            > Disaster relief over and above what is in the fund can be handled through emergency appropriations when needed.

            Except when it can’t.
            http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/house-senate-clash-anew-disaster-aid-bill-14587910

        • drax

          your other blather aside, it would be almost impossible to cut the budget to 1/3rd without cutting DoD. It would be almost impossible to cut the budget to 1/3rd at all, but whatever.

          • R.Griffon

            DING DING DING! That’s the whole point – everyone likes to talk about “cutting government,” but you’re viewed as some kind of radical pacifist who hates America if you try to suggest that defense spending may be too high. It’s a taboo subject for even middle America, much less right-wing hawks.

            Instead we play this game of trying to divert attention to things like earmarks, NPR funding, or even disaster relief (which is a REAL need, BTW), which are all nearly inconsequential when compared to the real problems of spending on defense, Social Security, and Medicare.

  • Newtdog73

    I am sick.

  • BB

    Great. A bill to introduce something that most agencies already do.

  • Burger

    I might be confused but most agencies already have this policy.

    If they don’t the real question is why the federal government has difference policies for different agencies or departments – never mind I answered my own question.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    Almost all the federal policies mentioned in the article are wrong headed and counter productive. Additionally – it’s non-sense that this kind of policy is the standard in private industry – if anything there is a move away from this with the non-differentiation of sick and annual leave. Sick leave is((was when America was the greatest workforce on the plant) and should be treated as a insurance policy against need – not a defined benefit that needs to be taken(or given away) – this is different than annual leave which is intended as a benefit/incentive .

    • drax

      It’s something designed to compensate employees. Those employers who compensate better get better employees. Pretty simple. Doesn’t matter if you think it makes sense – it’s between employer and employee.

  • Barbin

    This was similar to Arlington County’s policy when I worked there. Donation is by choice. (I presume it is about the same now.) Nothing against you if you don’t donate any hours or days. But, after you amass so many days and they are more than you can foresee using, a donation of sick days can make a great difference to someone facing prolonged illness.

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