HEROES Act 

The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or the HEROES Act, was introduced May 12, 2020. We were closely following this bill because it would have given employees performing "high risk" duties up to an additional $10,000 in pay. 

The House and Senate finally passed a watered down version of the initial HEROES ACT which omits the additional pay. Here are some key takeaways from the bill:
  • Continued telework for all eligible federal employees throughout the pandemic, plus incentives for agencies to expand their telework programs.
  • Allowing federal first responders to stay in their current law enforcement retirement plans even if they are unable to meet the physical requirements of their position due to exposure to coronavirus and are moved to other civil service jobs.
  • A presumption that federal employees who work with the public and are diagnosed with COVID-19 contracted it in the workplace, for workers’ compensation purposes.
  • Eliminating out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment under the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program.
  • Extending the emergency leave provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act to all federal employees.
FY2021 Funding

Congress has finally passed the FY 2021 NDAA, funding us through 2021! The President can still veto the bill. Here are a couple key provisions if the President signs it:
The bill contains several provisions that will benefit federal employees:
 
  • Pandemic Leave:  Permits most federal employees to carry over an additional 25% of annual leave into 2021(60 hours), in recognition of their dedicated service during the pandemic.  NTEU worked with the House Armed Services and the House Oversight and Reform Committee to have this provision included.
     
  • Paid Parental Leave:  Extends paid parental leave to approximately 100,000 federal civilians inadvertently excluded from last year’s legislation, including employees at the VA, TSA, FAA, White House, Article I judges, and the courts and the public defender’s office for Washington, D.C.
     
  • Elijah Cummings Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act:  Requires each federal agency to establish a model Equal Employment Opportunity Program that is independent of the agency's Human Capital or General Counsel office and establishes requirements related to complaints of discrimination and retaliation in the workplace.