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.