Disabled Veteran Leave Law Only Applies to New Title 5 Feds

Glynnis Jones/Shutterstock.com

The new law providing a full year’s sick leave up front to new federal employees who are disabled veterans only applies to those hired on, or after Nov. 5, 2016.

The 2015 Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act gives 104 hours of sick leave up front to first-year feds who are vets with a service-connected disability rating of at least 30 percent to attend medical appointments related to their disability. It also only applies to those new feds who are covered under Title 5 leave provisions, and including employees of the Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission. Non-Title 5 disabled veteran employees hired on or after Nov. 5, 2016, including those at the Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration, are not eligible for the new benefit. Many jobs at the Veterans Affairs Department, for instance, also are not covered under Title 5. Title 5 governs most, but not all, of the federal personnel system.

Current federal employees who are disabled veterans also are not eligible for the new type of leave.

Obama signed the bill into law on Nov. 5, 2015, and it applies to those hired a year after its enactment.

The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday published some initial guidance on the new law to agencies. OPM has to publish implementing regulations within 9 months of the law’s enactment.

Agencies have to create a separate leave category – apart from regular sick leave – for disabled veteran leave for eligible employees. During their first year on the job, those vets would still accumulate their normal sick leave. The employees only would be able to use their disabled veteran leave for treatments directly related to their service and would not be able to carry over the one-time “wounded warrior leave” after the first 12 months on the job.

“Agencies will have to monitor the use of this new leave category and ensure that any leave to the credit of the employee after the 12-month period is forfeited and removed from an employee’s disabled veteran leave account,” the Nov. 24 OPM notice said. Eligible employees must submit medical documentation from a health care provider proving the leave was used for treatment related to the service-connected disability.

Prior to the new law, full-time federal workers in their first year on the job did not have access to sick leave when they started, accruing four hours of such leave per pay period as is typical. That amounts to a balance of 104 hours at the end of their first year. But disabled vets, who must attend regular medical appointments to maintain their health and to continue receiving their veterans’ benefits, can burn up their sick leave quickly.

For current federal employees who are disabled veterans, the government provides other types of leave and flexibilities to receive treatment for their service-connected disability including leave without pay, annual leave, sick leave, advanced sick leave, alternative work schedules, and telework. 

(Image via Glynnis Jones/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.