This week the House passed the Telework Improvements Act (HR 1722) requiring agencies to expand teleworking opportunities for employees. The House had taken up the bill in May, but failed to get the votes necessary to pass the bill under a special procedure. This time the bill came up under normal procedures requiring a simple majority to pass. The House bill is similar to that passed by the Senate (see Highlights, May 28, 2010) in late May. The bill requires agencies to develop a teleworking policy and identify eligible employees. The bill does exempt, except in emergency situations, employees whose daily official duties require the direct handling of secure materials or involve an on-site agency where duties cannot be performed remotely. In addition, the bill gives authority to agencies to conduct a telework travel expenses test in which agencies could pay travel expenses for teleworking employees who are required to come to the office more than a set number of times. The expansion of teleworking in federal agencies has received strong support from the Office of Personnel Management and a number of federal employee organizations. Supporters hope to conference the bill quickly and send it to the president for signature.
House passes teleworking bill
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I fully support this legislation and hope it gets fully implemented across all federal agencies. This is a great idea!