Federal Employees Need Time to Receive Vaccinations

Press Release February 8, 2021

Washington D.C. – The Office of Personnel Management should require federal agencies grant administrative leave for all federal employees who choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a request from members of Congress that is supported by the National Treasury Employees Union. 

“Our federal employees have been challenged throughout this pandemic by adjusting their jobs to work under these strenuous circumstances. Ensuring an environment for employees to easily vaccinate is the fastest way for federal agencies to be able to function at their most productive level,” according to the letter sent to OPM by seven House members from the Washington D.C. region. 

The letter was signed by Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Anthony Brown (D-MD), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), David Trone (D-MD), and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA). 

“NTEU strongly agrees that OPM should make immunization as easy as possible for federal workers around the country, especially those who have not been able to telework and have been reporting to their workplace throughout the pandemic,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon.  

Federal employees would be more likely to schedule a vaccination appointment if they knew it wouldn’t deplete their sick or annual leave allotment, especially newer employees who haven’t accrued much leave, Reardon said. 

NTEU is working with agencies to encourage employee vaccinations, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for their own safety as well as for their families and their communities. 

“We are grateful to those members of Congress who are taking proactive steps to help protect the health and safety of our nation’s civil servants,” Reardon said. 

NTEU represents employees in 33 federal agencies and offices.