Labor Issues telework_120910

Published on December 13th, 2010 | by Editor


Obama signs Telework Bill into Law

President Barak Obama signed the Telework Enhancement Act (H.R. 1722) sponsored by Reps. Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly, D-11th, Frank Wolf, R-10th and John Sarbanes, D-Md., into law on Thursday, December 9, 2010. Connolly said the goal of the bill is to jump-start the federal government’s telework program.

“There is no work force on the planet that lends itself better to Telework, yet the federal government lags behind the private sector and local governments in implementing this common sense program. This legislation will change that and prepare the federal government for the future,” Connolly said.

President Barack Obama signs the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 in the Oval Office, Dec. 9, 2010.

The legislation meets several critical policy goals including: reducing traffic congestion and associated air pollution from vehicle emissions, particularly in the Washington metropolitan area; lessening dependence on foreign oil; ensuring the federal government can recruit and retain highly-qualified employees at a time when 48 percent of the federal workforce is eligible to retire in the next decade; and improving federal agency’s Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) to cope with natural disasters, terrorist incidents, and other emergency situations, Connolly said.

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), another bill sponsor, said the legislation will be a key in recruiting and retaining the “best and brightest workers.”

According to Sarbanes’ website, the legislation will:

  • Instruct OPM to issue government-wide telework guidelines and require each agency to develop a telework policy for their employees.
  • Designate a Telework Managing Officer in each agency to oversee telework.
  • Provide greater access to telework training and education and provide teleworks with greater protection against punitive treatment by supervisors and managers.
  • Require each agency to integrate telework into its Continuity of Operations Planning.
  • Require OPM to compile government-wide data on telework.
  • Require the Government Accountability Office to evaluate agency compliance

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