Bill would provide veterans with extra sick leave

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) has introduced legislation that would offer disabled veterans who serve as federal employees with extra time off to seek medical care.

The measure, which Lynch co-sponsored with Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), would offer veterans with 13 days, or 104 hours, of "Wounded Warrior leave" during their first year as federal workers.

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Lynch said his bill would give veterans adequate time to take care of medical needs without resorting to leave without pay.

"Our Wounded Warrior federal employees who are just starting out in the federal workforce are often faced with the difficult choice of having to take unpaid leave to attend their V.A. appointments or miss their medical visits," Lynch said.

Federal workers are eligible for up to 13 days of paid sick leave by their second year of employment. Any unused leave offered by the Lynch bill could not be carried over to the next year.

Cummings said the bill would ensure that injured veterans do not have to compromise their health upon starting in the federal workforce.

"This legislation will help with their transition by providing a bank of leave in their first year of federal employment that they can use for medical treatments while continuing their public service," Cummings said.

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