NTEU Submits Comments to Proposed Regulations on Disabled Veteran Leave

NTEU has submitted public comments regarding proposed regulations from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that were published in the Federal Register on June 6, 2016. The recently-issued, proposed regulations would implement the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015, which established a new leave category, to be known as disabled veteran leave.

Under the proposed regulations, this new category is an entitlement for any employee who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more to use up to 104 hours of disabled veteran leave during a 12-month period beginning on the first day of employment for the purposes of undergoing medical treatment for such disability. Disabled veteran leave not used during this 12-month period may not be carried over to subsequent years and will be forfeited. By law, disabled veteran leave is available only to eligible employees who are hired on or after November 5, 2016.

NTEU is fully supportive of OPM’s proposed regulations to implement disabled veteran leave and establish this critical benefit for veterans who suffer from service-connected disabilities. The Union’s comments focus on ensuring that the final regulations require agencies and the Veterans Benefits Administration to notify veterans of the availability of this benefit upon employment and upon certifying their status as a veteran with a qualifying service-connected disability, respectively. NTEU believes that providing such notice will maximize the possibility of veterans taking advantage of the statutory entitlement to disabled veteran leave within the fixed 12-month window.

I will keep you posted regarding any further developments with this rule.