Retroactive Pay Raise Legislation Introduced

Legislation has been introduced to give federal employees a pay raise retroactive to the start of 2019.

Update: This bill was passed by the House with amendments on January 30th.

After an end to the shutdown was announced yesterday, yet more good news came for federal employees: a bill was introduced in the House to provide a retroactive pay raise to federal employees.

The White House had previously recommended a pay freeze for the federal workforce in 2019. Because Congress took no action to override that recommendation, something not helped by the shutdown that ensued, the pay freeze ultimately stood.

That does not mean, however, that a raise cannot be applied retroactively. It has, in fact, been done in the past, last happening under the Bush administration.

That is just what Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) is attempting to do. He introduced legislation (H.R. 790) on Friday that would give federal employees a 2.6% pay raise to match the raise that was given to the military for 2019. It would also be applied retroactively to the start of 2019. The raise would also apply to Senior Executive Service, Senior-Level and Scientific and Professional employees.

Lawmakers had previously been pushing to give the federal workforce a 1.9% pay raise, but Connolly is citing pay parity with the military as the reason for a higher raise.

Connolly said in a statement, “We must provide the entire federal workforce with a pay increase worthy of their selfless commitment to the betterment of the American public. The Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act reaffirms our conviction that public servants – civilian and military alike – deserve better than the shutdowns, furloughs, and pay freezes forced upon them by the Trump administration.”

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.