NTEU Endorses Legislation to Protect Earned Leave for Federal Employees

Press Release October 1, 2020

Washington D.C. – Federal employees who were unable to use their earned time off because of the pandemic will be able to save it for next year under legislation introduced today and endorsed by the National Treasury Employees Union. 

The Federal Worker Leave Fairness Act -- sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and others, and in the House by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and others -- would expand the amount of annual leave that employees are allowed to carry over. Without it, federal employees will lose paid time off that they have rightfully earned but could not use because of the public health crisis. 

“Across the country, there are thousands of federal employees who were unable to use their annual leave because of pandemic-related obligations at work or restrictions on travel, and it would be wrong for them not to be able to save that leave for next year,” NTEU National President Tony Reardon said. “We urge Congress to move swiftly on the Federal Worker Leave Fairness Act and help federal workers keep the leave they have earned serving the nation’s taxpayers.”  

Under current law, federal employees may roll over up to 240 hours of unused annual leave into the next calendar year. The Office of Personnel Management lifted that cap only for certain employees during the pandemic. The bill introduced today would expand it for all federal workers.  

“Too many of our nation’s civil servants, through no fault of their own, stand to lose paid time-off that they have rightfully earned, and we are pleased that Sen. Hirono and Reps. Kilmer and Wexton, with the Federal Worker Leave Fairness Act, have crafted a common-sense solution,” Reardon said. 

NTEU represents about 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments.