Proposed rule is an implementation of a 2011 law passed by Congress
The Office of Personnel Management on Friday announced new guidelines for issuing U.S. flags to family members of federal employees who have been killed in the line of service.
The proposed rule, to be formally published in the June 17 edition of the Federal Register, is an implementation of the 2011 Civilian Service Recognition Act. The law authorizes agencies to give flags to beneficiaries of federal employees who lose their lives “under certain conditions” while serving the public.
“I encourage all agencies to make full use of this authority to honor those federal employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice in support of our nation,” acting OPM Director Elaine Kaplan said in a memo to chief human capital officers.
Eligible employees include those at executive agencies, the U.S. Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission, OPM said. Kaplan said the proposed rule was made “after coordination” with the Defense and Homeland Security departments.
Officials can “provide a flag on behalf of an individual” if the person died after Dec. 20, 2011, and was killed by injuries “incurred with such individual’s employment” with the federal government, including terrorism and natural disasters, or other circumstances as determined by the president.
Passed unanimously by the House in late 2011, the law was commended by union officials as a “meaningful and appropriate step” for recognizing federal employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice.