WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, to improve the lives of veterans who are wounded as a result of their service to our nation passed the Senate Wednesday evening with unanimous support. The Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), helps make certain disabled veterans can receive the medical care they need by providing first-year federal government employees who have service related disabilities with 104 hours of sick leave.
"Wounded veterans should have the opportunity to take time off from work and seek medical care without penalty to their paycheck and livelihood." Sen. Moran said. "This important legislation will help make certain our nation’s heroes can pursue a career in federal service and support their families while also addressing their medical treatment needs resulting from wounds or injuries sustained in defense of our country. In passing the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act, the Senate has maintained our commitment to improving the lives of wounded warriors and I am pleased that the needs of veterans continue to be a top priority."
Currently, first-year government workers accrue four hours of sick leave each pay period, forcing many veterans with disabilities who have not built up the necessary leave time to take unpaid leave for medical appointments. The Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act gives these veteran employees 104 hours of leave up front, freeing them from having to make the difficult decision between receiving care and taking unpaid leave after they start their new job.
The bill supports first-year federal employees with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more. It would cover first-year employees whether their disability occurred in combat or not. The Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act is supported by The American Legion, the American Federation of Government Employees, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the National Treasury Employees Union, among others.
Sen. Moran and Tester’s bipartisan Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act now awaits action in the U.S. House of Representatives.