Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., introduced legislation on May 5 to protect annual leave for Federal employees who have been working to aid the Federal response to COVID-19.

The Federal Frontline Worker Leave Protection Act, cosponsored by Reps. Don Beyer, D-Va., Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and Jamie Raskin, D-Md., will allow employees working on the frontlines to “not lose their annual leave benefits due to an inability to take time off as a result of the crisis.”

“During the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, our Federal workers are stepping up and working tirelessly to help Americans weather this crisis,” Rep. Wexton said in a press release. “It’s all hands-on deck right now and taking time off is not an option for many Federal employees. Federal workers should not be forced to lose their benefits while they carry out the essential work of government. We owe it to them to protect what they’ve earned.”

The release also states that the bill would amend existing law to include COVID-19 response work as an instance that would allow workers to roll over unused hours to next year, whereas current law limits the instances in which a Federal employee can carry over leave.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.