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*** A survey released by the American Federation of Government Employees found that of federal employees working remotely, almost 80% say they feel unsafe returning to their work site. However, more than half of federal workplaces are requiring at least some employees to return to offices and other workplaces. Of those employees currently working in a federal workplace, 73% said that they don’t believe their employer is doing enough to keep them safe. AFGE's survey, which ran Aug. 5 to Aug. 12 generated almost 2,200 responses.

"This is why we need Congress to pass legislation that allows employees to continue teleworking throughout this pandemic, expedites production of protective equipment, improves oversight of how agencies are adhering to health and safety guidelines, and ensures workers through their representatives are included in decisions about returning to worksites, AFGE National President Everett Kelley said in a statement.

*** Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is calling on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to delay furloughs of more than 13,000 staffers that are expected to take effect Aug. 30. USCIS previously pushed back the furlough date from Aug. 3 to Aug. 30. Leahy and others on Capitol Hill say that USCIS, which is fee funded, has enough in its coffers to pay employees through fiscal year 2020 and end up with a carryover balance.

"The decision to shut down the legal immigration system by furloughing these employees will harm our economy, have adverse impacts on trade, encourage unlawful immigration, and is patently unfair to our federal workforce and to individuals who have waited so long to be reunited with their families," Leahy wrote.

Posted on Aug 20, 2020 at 2:16 AM


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