Those with an interest in the subject know that the House is again considering a bill to allow federal employees under the FERS system to get credit for unused sick leave (along with other changes to the federal employee benefits program) (See The Proposed Federal Benefit That Won’t Die)
Sometimes, a bill moves fast. This is one of them. This bill was approved 404-0 the day after it was introduced.
This does not mean that the provision to allow credit for unused sick leave has been passed into law. The provision was previously part of the tobacco bill. The tobacco bill was passed by the Senate but the portion regarding the credit for unused sick leave was removed from the bill before passage.
The removal of the FERS sick leave passage was not a subject of passionate debate in the Senate. Not surprisingly, the contention in Congress on that bill concerned the regulation of tobacco. The FERS piece of legislation got shoved aside in the process.
Locality Pay for Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. Territories
On another topic that is related insofar as pertaining to the human resources system for some federal employees, the bill that has been passed also contains legislation that would change the pay system for federal employees outside of the continental United States.
Currently, federal employees in these geographic areas get paid under a different system than the locality pay system that is more common. (See COLA’s, Housing Costs and Lawsuits: How Pay is Determined for Some Federal Employees) That system of providing an additional cost of living for federal employees has been the subject of dispute. This legislation would change the pay system for federal employees in these areas by placing employees into locality pay areas. There would be a transition period for this new system:
(1) in calendar year 2010, by using 1/3 of the locality pay percentage for the rest of United States locality pay area;
(2) in calendar year 2011, by using 2/3 of the otherwise applicable comparability payment approved by the President for each non-foreign area; and
(3) in calendar year 2012 and each subsequent year, by using the full amount of the applicable comparability payment approved by the President for each non-foreign area.
Keep in mind that this legislation has not been finalized and it could eventually be eliminated, modified or passed by the Senate in its present form.