Fedweek

Legislation (HR-978) has been reintroduced in Congress to set standards for recalling federal employees to their regular worksites from telework, a bill that passed the House last year but not the Senate.

It would require federal agencies to “publish a safety plan publicly on their agency website and communicate this plan directly to employees and to track that all employees have received it. In addition, the safety plan must address the agency’s continuity of operations and discuss implementation of widely recommended health and safety initiatives, including procedures for administering the vaccine to agency employees,” according to a summary from Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., the main sponsor and chair of the House government operations subcommittee.

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“The plan would also discuss protections for employees required to travel or work in locations outside of federal office buildings, requirements for visitors to federal facilities, and contingencies for high-risk employees or employees living in a household at high-risk of contracting COVID-19,” it says.

Also among bills newly offered in Congress are:

* HR-916, to offer buyout and early retirement incentives in the DoD civilian workforce with the goal of a 15 percent reduction by 2025, after which employment would be capped at the lower level; and to increase the weight of performance ratings in reductions in force there.

* HR-962, to broaden eligibility under the special retirement provisions for federal law enforcement officers allowing them to retire earlier although at the cost of higher contributions to the retirement fund while employed by including all those authorized to carry a firearm and whose duties involve investigation and/or apprehension and certain officers at the IRS, Postal Inspection Service and VA.

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2021 Federal Employees Handbook