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COVID-19 Legislative Efforts and the Vaccine

Dear FLEOA Members,

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, FLEOA has been a constant and persistent advocate to ensure your rights and you are protected. Over the course of the past year, we’ve worked with federal agencies to include DOL OWCP, Congress, and the White House to ensure your pandemic-related needs and issues are addressed immediately. 

In November, we issued a letter highlighting those efforts and you can review it here (https://www.fleoa.org/news-story.aspx?id=9930).  

NDAA:
We are proud to announce that two of our COVID-19 priorities are poised to be passed into law as part of the forthcoming FY 21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). First, the bill includes a full FMLA parental leave fix that would expand the parental leave Congress passed last year to TSA, VA, and Postal Service employees. The bill also includes an annual leave rollover provision based on legislation FLEOA helped to develop that will allow all federal employees to roll over to 2021 leave that is 25% over the 240-hour cap. That means employees can roll over as much as 300 hours of annual leave into next year. The NDAA report is here (https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20201207/CRPT-116hrpt617.pdf) 

COVID-19 OWCP:
Since the beginning, FLEOA worked with DOL FECA / OWCP to create a full "presumption” for any federal law enforcement officer that contracts COVID-19. That "presumption” means no matter where the illness comes from, it will be "presumed” to have occurred "in the line of duty” and is fully covered by OWCP. Any federal law enforcement officer who contracts COVID-19 MUST file a CA-1 or CA-2 as applicable to document the exposure and diagnosis. No agency should or can tell you not to. If they do, please contact FLEOA ASAP. 
 
The DOL FECA rules for law enforcement are here (https://www.dol.gov/agencies/owcp/dfec/regs/compliance/DFECfolio/FECABulletins/FY2020-2024#FECAB2101). 

COVID-19 LEAVE:
FLEOA also worked diligently to ensure that all federal law enforcement officers are covered under every OPM COVID-19 leave rule. This includes up to an additional 80 hours of sick leave for a COVID diagnosis. OPM’s rules can be found here (https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/covid-19/) 

COVID-19 Pay Cap Waiver:
As part of the COVID-19 legislation, FLEOA advocated for a waiver of the annual and bi-weekly pay caps for federal law enforcement officers, which expire at the end of 2020. We’ve also requested it be continued through the end of 2021. Those rules can be found here (https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/covid-19/opm-memorandum-waiver-of-the-premium-pay-limitation-and-aggregate-pay-limitation-for-employees-working-in-response-to-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/) 

COVID-19 VACCINE:
As the COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out, FLEOA has been in communication with the White House, HHS, and DHS about the protocols for federal law enforcement officers. We’ve confirmed that the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine is on a fully VOLUNTARY basis. You can not be forced to take the vaccine. We’ve also confirmed that federal law enforcement officers are considered in the Phase 1 vaccine distribution with state and local first responders and medical professionals.  
Additionally, there will be no separate dispensing of the vaccine for federal agencies. The vaccine distribution is being done on a state and local level. Federal agencies are being told to have individuals’ offices work with local and state health agencies to identify and secure a timeframe to access the vaccine for their personnel. 

The Phase 1 deployment strategy is here (https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2020-09/COVID-07-Dooling.pdf) 

We continue to keep you and your families as a top priority and that during this COVID-19 pandemic, you never feel as if you are going it alone.

Fraternally,

Larry Cosme
National President
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association