Congresswoman Wants Paid Leave for Some Teleworking Federal Employees

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By on March 20, 2020 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) | Photo by Keith Mellnick

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) is asking for paid leave to be provided to teleworking federal employees who are also caring for family members while they are at home working during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“We understand that because of the time these federal employees must spend on caring for family members, these teleworking federal employees are having to use their leave time, go without pay, or telework longer hours in the early morning or late evening to make up for the lost hours they spend caring for their families,” she writes in her letter to the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management.

She goes on to ask for 15 hours of paid leave to be provided to them in this scenario.

“This would still require federal employees to work five hours per day, providing vital federal services, while allowing them to manage their family care duties,” wrote Norton.

A copy of the letter is included below.

March 19, 2020

Russ Vought
Acting Director
Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20503

Michael Rigas
Acting Director
Office of Personnel Management
1900 E Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20503

Acting Directors Vought and Rigas:

As you well know, the current problems caused by the coronavirus are affecting every single American, including federal employees. Countless federal employees are teleworking to attempt to stay safe from the virus, and also to care for their family members, including children who are forced to stay home from school and daycare. We understand that because of the time these federal employees must spend on caring for family members, these teleworking federal employees are having to use their leave time, go without pay, or telework longer hours in the early morning or late evening to make up for the lost hours they spend caring for their families.  This has put an unsustainable burden on numerous families. We therefore write to encourage you to allow teleworking employees who are also caring for family members to have up to 15 hours of administrative or other designated paid leave per week to care for their family members. This would still require federal employees to work five hours per day, providing vital federal services, while allowing them to manage their family care duties.

We believe this measure would provide great relief for federal employees who have no other option during these unprecedented times.

Sincerely,
Eleanor Holmes Norton

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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