Bills Would Require Publishing Agency Reopening Plans, Reimbursing Dependent Care Costs

Recently introduced legislation would require federal agencies to publish their reopening plans online to facilitate the safety of their employees.

Legislation introduced in the House would require federal agencies to publish their plans to reopen federal offices after the coronavirus online at least 30 days in advance of their scheduled opening dates.

Known as The Chaicharn Suthammanont Remembrance Act (H.R. 7340), the bill was introduced by Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA). It would require the plans to details the procedures and policies related to sending employees back to work in an office environment.

The published plans would have to include details on the following:

  • The personal protective equipment that will be provided by the agency, the additional cleaning protocols to be implemented, and efforts to ensure social distancing at worksites.
  • The actions the agency will take to protect federal employees who are required to work in locations outside of Federal office buildings for activities such as audits and inspections.
  • The requirements that members of the public must meet in order to enter Federal office spaces.
  • A description of the proper contingencies for employees who have a high-risk of contracting coronavirus.

Plans would also have to ensure the continuity of agency operations, including plans to reverse reopening measures if there is a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

Paying Dependent Care Reimbursements to Federal Employees

A second bill (H.R. 7341) Connolly introduced would provide reimbursements to federal employees for costs of care to children or relatives with COVID-19 in certain circumstances.

Federal employees would be eligible for the reimbursements if they are unable to provide the care for their children or relatives due to having to report to their duty stations or teleworking.

The legislation as written states that reimbursement payments would be provided on a monthly basis and would cap out at a maximum of $2,000 per month per child or relative.

About the Author

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.