NFFE Teams Up with Bipartisan Senate Effort to Update Emergency TeleWork Act
NFFE-IAM teamed up with Sen. Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sen. Langford (R-OK) to improve upon the Emergency TeleWork Act passed earlier this year. The changes center around codifying language to the Act to prevent any agency waivers (i.e., exceptions) to the Maximum TeleWork mandate in the law. Working with NFFE-IAM and a small group of federal unions, the proposed language corrects what could be interpreted as waiving the overall Maximum TeleWork mandate once the initial 90-day public health emergency declaration ended in April. The new language:
- Requires federal agencies to allow all telework-eligible federal workers to telework full-time for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Requires federal agencies to evaluate whether non-telework-eligible employees can be made telework-eligible.
- Allows agency heads to waive any of the above requirements for employees where there is a compelling reason to do so. This sets a default for maximum telework, but also provides flexibility for jobs that cannot be done remotely.
- Compels the Executive Branch to develop a plan to maximize telework in the event of a future public health emergency for an infectious disease.
- Clarifies at the Technology Modernization Fund may be used for technology-related modernization activities to facilitate telework.
- Requires that managers and supervisors, including political appointees, receive training on telework and management of a remote workforce, within 180 days of assuming a management or supervisory role over teleworking employees.
Pandemic Federal Telework Act (proposed legislation)