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[House Report 114-180]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


114th Congress     {                                   }     Report
 1st Session       {     HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES      }      114-180
======================================================================
 
               WOUNDED WARRIORS FEDERAL LEAVE ACT OF 2015

                                _______
                                

 June 25, 2015.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Chaffetz, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 313]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 313) to amend title 5, United 
States Code, to provide leave to any new Federal employee who 
is a veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 
percent or more for purposes of undergoing medical treatment 
for such disability, and for other purposes, having considered 
the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     2
Section-by-Section...............................................     2
Explanation of Amendments........................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Roll Call Votes..................................................     3
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     3
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     3
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     3
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     3
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     4
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     4
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     4
Earmark Identification...........................................     4
Committee Estimate...............................................     4
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     4
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 313, the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015, 
supports wounded warriors transitioning to civilian careers by 
providing newly hired disabled veterans access to sick leave to 
care for their injuries.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Under current law, full-time federal workers accrue four 
hours of sick leave each full biweekly pay period, totaling 13 
days of sick leave per year.\1\ Since federal workers begin 
with a zero sick leave balance, disabled veterans beginning 
civilian jobs often have insufficient leave to receive 
necessary medical treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, 
severe physical injuries, and other service-connected 
disabilities. As a result, they must often take unpaid leave to 
care for their injuries, or forego their medical appointments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\5 U.S.C. 6307.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 supports 
newly hired federal workers who are veterans by granting them 
access to sick leave for medical treatment related to their 
service-connected disability.

                          Legislative History

    H.R. 313, the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015, 
was introduced on January 13, 2015 by Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-
MA) and referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform. On January 27, 2015, the Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform ordered H.R. 313 favorably reported without 
amendment. Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Gerald E. Connolly 
(D-VA), Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), 
Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-NC), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) 
are original cosponsors.
    The legislation was ordered reported by the Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform in the 113th Congress (H.R. 
5229).

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    The short title of the bill is the ``Wounded Warriors 
Federal Leave Act of 2015.''

Section 2. Additional leave for Federal employees who are disabled 
        veterans

    Federal employees with a service-connected disability 
rating of 30 percent or greater will have access to up to 13 
days of sick leave for medical treatment related to their 
disability during their first year of civilian employment. The 
bill defines service-connected disability to include non-combat 
related injuries. Available leave is capped at 104 hours and 
any leave not used during the employees first year is 
forfeited. Individuals utilizing this new category of leave 
must certify use of such leave was related to treatment of 
their disability subject to regulations prescribed by the 
Office of Personnel Management.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    No amendments were offered during Full Committee 
consideration of H.R. 313.

                        Committee Consideration

    On January 27, 2015 the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 313, by voice vote, a 
quorum being present.

                            Roll Call Votes

    There were no recorded votes during Full Committee 
consideration of H.R. 313.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill amends title 5, United States Code, to provide leave 
to any new Federal employee who is a veteran with a service-
connected disability rated at 30 percent or more for purposes 
of undergoing medical treatment for such disability. As such 
this bill does relate to employment and/or access to public 
services and accommodations.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goal or objective of this bill is to amend title 5, United 
States Code, to provide leave to any new Federal employee who 
is a veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 
percent or more for purposes of undergoing medical treatment 
for such disability.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of this bill establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that enacting this bill does direct 
the completion of a specific rule making within the meaning of 
5 U.S.C. 551. H.R. 313 requires the Director of the Office of 
Personnel Management to prescribe regulations with respect to 
the leave established under this bill, not later than nine 
months after the date of enactment.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandate Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the report include unfunded mandates. 
In compliance with this requirement the Committee has received 
a letter from the Congressional Budget Office included herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    This bill does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for this bill from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 313--Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015

    Summary: H.R. 313 would provide additional sick leave to 
veterans with a disability rated at 30 percent or greater who 
are newly hired by the federal government. That additional 
leave would have to be used for treatment of the employee's 
disability and would expire one year after it became available 
to the employee. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 313 would 
cost $55 million over the next five years, subject to 
appropriation of the necessary funds. That cost represents the 
value of the additional sick leave that CBO estimates would be 
provided to newly hired veterans. In some cases that additional 
leave would lead to additional spending by agencies; in other 
cases agencies would lose the value of the work of the people 
using the additional days of leave.
    Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to this legislation 
because it would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 313 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of H.R. 313 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall in all budget functions 
except functions 900 (net interest) and 950 (offsetting 
receipts).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             2015      2016      2017      2018      2019      2020    2015-2020
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Estimated Authorization Level............         0         3        14        15        15        16         63
Estimated Outlays........................         0         2         9        14        15        16         55
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes HR. 313 
will be enacted late in fiscal year 2015 and the amounts 
estimated to be needed will be appropriated each year.
    The legislation would provide a maximum of 104 hours of 
additional sick leave to veterans with a disability rated at 30 
percent or greater who are newly hired by the federal 
government. The bill specifies that the additional leave would 
become available for employees hired one year or more after the 
date of enactment. That additional leave would have to be used 
for treatment of the employee's disability and would expire one 
year after it became available to the employee.
    In 2009, President Obama signed an executive order 
establishing the Veterans Employment Initiative, which was 
designed to increase federal hiring of veterans. According to 
the Veterans Employment Council, the proportion of newly hired 
federal workers who are veterans increased from 35 percent in 
2008 to 46 percent in 2013 (the most recent year for which data 
are available). During those years, the proportion of hired 
employees who are veterans with a disability rating of 30 
percent or greater also increased, from 5.5 percent to 10.7 
percent (from 7,000 to 11,000 employees per year). The rate of 
increase in hiring of disabled veterans has slowed recently, 
but CBO expects that about 8,000 to 9,000 disabled veterans 
will continue to be hired by the federal government each year 
through 2020.
    The potential budgetary effects of this bill derive from 
the use of additional sick leave. The Office of Personnel 
Management (OPM) calculates that the average salary of new 
hires who are veterans with a disability rated at 30 percent or 
greater is $51,000. Data from OPM and research by the 
Congressional Research Service indicate that disabled veterans 
use more sick leave than other employees and that the temporary 
nature of the additional sick leave would encourage employees 
to use the benefit at a higher rate than regular leave. On 
average, CBO estimates that 60 percent of the leave made 
available under the bill would be used. Based on the 
anticipated number of new hires of disabled veterans, their 
average hourly rate, and their projected use of the additional 
sick leave that the bill would make available, CBO estimates 
that the legislation would cost $55 million over the 2015-2020 
period.
    How that additional cost would affect the federal budget is 
difficult to determine. Some of the disabled veterans who would 
be aided by this bill would, under current law, use annual 
leave to receive treatment for their disability; the provision 
of additional sick leave under the bill could mean that they 
have more accumulated leave when they separate from the 
government, which would lead to larger cash payments by the 
government at that time. Some government agencies might hire 
additional people or contract for additional services to make 
up for the lost output of the disabled workers who would take 
additional leave under the bill; that would raise federal costs 
in the near term, subject to the availability of appropriated 
funds. Some of the affected veterans would take more sick leave 
in total, and the agencies for which they work might not hire 
additional people or contract for additional services; in those 
cases, there would be no direct budgetary effect, but the 
government would lose the value of the work of those people on 
those additional days of sick leave. Therefore, although the 
additional cost would appear in different ways for disabled 
veterans and agencies in different circumstances, the 
government would nonetheless bear a cost for the additional 
leave that was taken.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 313 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Dan Ready; Impact on 
State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Jon Sperl; Impact on the 
Private Sector: Paige Piper/Bach.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



PART III--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBPART E--ATTENDANCE AND LEAVE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                           CHAPTER 63--LEAVE


                   SUBCHAPTER I--ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE

Sec.
6301. Definitions.
     * * * * * * *

                     SUBCHAPTER II--OTHER PAID LEAVE

     * * * * * * *
6329. Disabled veteran leave.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER II--OTHER PAID LEAVE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 6329. Disabled veteran leave

  (a) During the 12-month period beginning on the first day of 
employment, any employee who is a veteran with a service-
connected disability rated at 30 percent or more is entitled to 
leave, without loss or reduction in pay, for purposes of 
undergoing medical treatment for such disability for which sick 
leave could regularly be used.
  (b)(1) The leave credited to an employee under subsection (a) 
may not exceed 104 hours.
  (2) Any leave credited to an employee pursuant to subsection 
(a) that is not used during the 12-month period described in 
such subsection may not be carried over and shall be forfeited.
  (c) In order to verify that leave credited to an employee 
pursuant to subsection (a) is used for treating a service-
connected disability, such employee shall submit to the head of 
the employing agency certification, in such form and manner as 
the Director of the Office of Personnel Management may 
prescribe, that such employee used such leave for purposes of 
being furnished treatment for such disability by a health care 
provider.
  (d) In this section--
          (1) the term ``employee'' has the meaning given such 
        term in section 2105, and includes an officer or 
        employee of the United States Postal Service or of the 
        Postal Regulatory Commission;
          (2) the term ``service-connected'' has the meaning 
        given such term in section 101(16) of title 38; and
          (3) the term ``veteran'' has the meaning given such 
        term in section 101(2) of such title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *