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Jan 05, 2016

Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act

(This article first appeared in the January-February 2016 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

President Obama signed the Wounded Warrior Federal Leave Act of 2015 into law on Nov. 5. After passing the House in a voice vote on Sept. 28, the bipartisan bill was approved by “unanimous consent” in the Senate on Oct. 26. The bill was initially introduced in the House in January 2015 by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) with 33 co-sponsors, including 27 Democrats, and six Republicans.

The new law grants up to 104 hours of paid leave to all newly hired federal employees who are veterans with at least a 30 percent service-connected disability rating. These veterans are entitled to use the additional leave during their first year of federal employment in order to receive medical care for their service-connected disabilities without having to suffer loss or reduction of pay.

Employees are eligible to take advantage of this benefit from their first day of employment. Any leave that remains unused by the end of the initial 12-month period will be forfeited – carry over is not permitted.

Thanks to President Herbert Hoover, who signed Executive Order 5396 on July 17, 1930, disabled veterans who are civilian federal employees have long had the right, essentially without limit, to take sick leave, annual leave or leave without pay (LWOP), without penalty for the purposes of obtaining medical treatment and recuperation. The 85-year-old Executive Order, which is still in effect and binding on all Executive Branch agencies – including the Postal Service – has great value to veterans and their families.

However, until the passage of the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015, new hires were often forced to choose between losing pay or sacrificing medical care because they had no paid leave available to them so early in their careers.

The new law will surely help to relieve veterans from having to make that choice. Veterans who use leave under either the Executive Order or the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act are required to submit certification to their employer from a recognized health care provider to verify that the leave credited to them was used for its intended purpose.

The Postmaster General will be responsible for prescribing regulations with respect to the leave, including the form and manner of the required certification for employees and officers of the Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission within nine months of enactment. The Director of the Office of Personnel Management is charged with doing the same for all other federal employees.

Other rights that benefit veterans, U.S. service members serving in the Reserves or National Guard, and their families include:

  • An entitlement to take LWOP, if necessary, to perform military training duties under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), Public Law 103–353.
  • Up to 12 workweeks of absence within a leave year for one or more of the reasons covered by the Family Medical Leave Act, including any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty) in the Armed Forces.
  • Up to 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for covered service members with a serious injury or illness.

Members of the military, our veterans and their families all have made tremendous sacrifice for our country, but all too often the Postal Service and other employers put the needs of the agency or company above the rights service members and veterans have earned and are legally and contractually entitled to. Challenge violations. To learn more, review ELM 514.22.


Nov 10, 2015

APWU Salutes Our Veterans

Web News Article #212-2015
11/09/2015

As Veterans Day approaches, the APWU joins the nation in honoring all those who served.


Apr 07, 2009

        

AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION

OUR FAMILY GAVE ALL

Spc. Matthew G. Boule

U. S. Army

KIA 04-02-03 OIF

NE Massachusetts Area Local

Lance Cpl. Nicholas Kleiboeker

U. S. Marines

KIA 05-13-03 OIF

Centralia Local

Sgt. Lawrence A. Roukey

U. S. Army

KIA 04-26-04 OIF

Portland Area Local

2nd Lt. P. Michael Felsberg

U. S. Marines

KIA 10-13-04 OIF

Palm Beach Area Local

Pfc. Mark A Barbret

U. S. Army

KIA 10-14-04 OIF

480-481 Area Local

Pfc. Brian K. Grant

U. S. Army

KIA 11-26-04 OIF

Ft. Worth Area Local

Pfc Stephen C. Benish

U. S. Army

KIA 11-28-04 OIF

New York Metro Area Local

Pfc. Andrew M. Ward

U. S. Army

KIA 12-05-04 OIF

Greater Seattle Area Local

Sgt. Jessica Housby

U. S. Army

KIA 2-09-05 OIF

Bi-State Area Local

Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence E. Morrison

U. S. Army

KIA 09-19-05 OIF

Yakima Area Local

Sgt. Alkaila T. Floyd

U. S. Army

KIA 07-13-06 OIF

Western Michigan Area Local

Sgt. Mark R. Vecchione

U. S. Army

KIA 07-18-06 OIF

Hyannis Area Local

Cpl. Ross A. Smith

U. S. Marines

KIA 02-09-06 OIF

Western Michigan Area Local

Pvt. Bret A. Walton

U. S. Army

KIA 4-09-07 OIF

Portland Area Local

1st Lt. Ryan P. Jones

U. S. Army

KIA 05-02-07 OIF

Boston Metro Area Local

MSgt. Kenneth N. Mack

U. S. Marines

KIA 05-05-07 OIF

Ft. Worth Area Local

Staff Sgt. Larry Rougie

U. S. Army

KIA 10-23-07 OEF

Salt Lake City Area Local

Sgt. James F. Fordyce

U. S. Marines

KIA 02-17-06 OIF

Philadelphia PA Area Local

Capt. Reid Nishizuka

U. S. Air Force

KIA 04-27-2013 OEF

Las Vegas Area Local

Staff Sgt. Kevin Pape

U. S. Army

KIA 11-16-10 OEF

Fort Wayne Area Local

LET US NEVER FORGET!


Dec 14, 2009
T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE, MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.
 
I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY, WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO, IN THIS HOME, DID LIVE.
 
I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS, NOT EVEN A TREE.
 
NO STOCKING BY MANTLE, JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES, OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.
 
WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT, CAME THROUGH MY MIND.
 
FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT, IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER, ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.
 
THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING, SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR, IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.
 
THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE, THE ROOM IN DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED, AN AUSTRALIAN SOLDIER.
 
WAS THIS THE HERO, OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, THE FLOOR FOR A BED?
 
I REALIZED THE FAMILIES, THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS, WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.
 
SOON ROUND THE WORLD, THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWN-UPS WOULD CELEBRATE, A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.
 
THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM, EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS, LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.
 
I COULDN'T HELP WONDER, HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE, IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.
 
THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT, A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES, AND STARTED TO CRY.
 
THE SOLDIER AWAKENED, AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
"SANTA DON'T CRY, THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;
 
I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD, MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS."
 
THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER, AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT, I CONTINUED TO WEEP.
 
I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS, SO SILENT AND STILL,
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED, FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.
 
I DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE, ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR, SO WILLING TO FIGHT..
 
THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER, WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA, IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."
 
ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH, AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND, AND TO ALL, A GOOD NIGHT."
This poem was written by an Australian Peacekeeping soldier stationed
overseas. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable
 
PLEASE.. Would you do me the kind favour of sending this to as many people as
you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to all of the
service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.
Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people
stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.



Page Last Updated: Jan 05, 2016 (07:44:30)
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