Senate passes compromise telework bill

Eligible federal employees could telework at least 20 percent of the hours they work each 2-week period

Telework proponents this week lauded Senate passage of a compromise federal teleworking bill. The Senate passed the bill Sept. 30 with an amendment on unanimous consent.

Under the Telework Improvements Act of 2010 (H.R. 1722), agencies will have 180 days to determine the eligibility of all employees to telework and to establish policies for eligible employees. After an employee is deemed eligible, he or she must enter into a written telework arrangement with the agency. Eligible feds could telework at least 20 percent of the hours they work each two-week period.

H.R. 1722 also requires agencies to incorporate telework into their continuity-of-operations plans, allowing them to head off the effects of events such as the blizzards that struck the Washington, D.C., area this year. The bill also orders the Office of Personnel Management to expand telework training opportunities for employees and managers. The House now has to act on the compromise.

“Employing telework on a governmentwide scale constitutes a significant culture shift in the federal workforce,” said Federal Managers Association National President Patricia Niehaus, whose organization supports the bill.

Niehaus said the change will require “an increased investment in managerial training to maintain employee engagement, monitor performance and promote cooperation when face-to-face.”

“This is a very welcome development,” said National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley, who applauded the bill’s training provision. “The more managers and employees understand telework, the more the advantages become clear."

 

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1996, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

  • Shutterstock image.

    Merged IT modernization bill punts on funding

    A House panel approved a new IT modernization bill that appears poised to pass, but key funding questions are left for appropriators.

  • General Frost

    Army wants cyber capability everywhere

    The Army's cyber director said cyber, electronic warfare and information operations must be integrated into warfighters' doctrine and training.

  • Rising Star 2013

    Meet the 2016 Rising Stars

    FCW honors 30 early-career leaders in federal IT.

Reader comments

Thu, Oct 14, 2010 Vincent San Diego, CA

This is excellent news. This will force managers who still operate using the 19th-century mentality of if I can't see you then you can't possibly be working to adapt to the 21st-century workplace. As to "eligibility" being the operative part of the requirement, I would expect the new policy to apply a minimum criteria. Just telling managers "you decide" would be the same as not having not passed the act.

Tue, Oct 5, 2010

Great News! Some Managers just seem to feel out of control when employees aren't in the office even if the employee is productive. The attitude seems to be "I'm in charge and I want them here to see I'm in charge"

Tue, Oct 5, 2010 LK USA

ELIGIBLE is the keyword here...if your supervisor determines you INELIGIBLE just because they don't want you to telework...you are still screwed!!

Mon, Oct 4, 2010 rt

Does this mean that employees of an agency with Duty station or workplace of DC can move to north carolina and receive costs to return for some meetings and still receive the dc metro locality pay? If telework results in lower costs of locality pay this is good.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group