Service-disabled veterans who become federal employees would start their careers with paid sick leave available, under legislation passed by the House Oversight and Government Reform committee Jan. 27.
Currently, there is no special accommodation for such employees. The Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act would give them 104 hours starting out, instead of starting from zero and accruing more leave as federal employees currently do.
The bill now heads to the full House for a vote.
The bill's sponsors said that a lack of sick leave unfairly hurts veteran efforts at getting regular medical care and in treating injuries. The employee must be 30 percent disabled to qualify.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., and cosponsored by Reps. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, Elijah Cummings, D-Md., G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., Walter Jones, R-N.C., Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.
The sick leave provided would not carry over into the second year and veterans would then accrue sick leave normally.
Lawmakers had previously introduced the legislation July 31, 2014, but the bill did not become law and congressional rules required the lawmakers to re-introduce it in 2015.
Farenthold said before the passage of the bill that it was a bipartisan bill that should be passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Obama.
"This is one I think we can all agree on," Farenthold said.