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.