Washington, DC – Tonight, the U.S. Senate passed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (S. 707), sponsored by Senators Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) and George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) to expand telecommuting opportunities in the federal government.
“I am pleased the Senate unanimously approved this bill to create robust telework programs in the federal government,” said Senator Akaka. “This winter’s snowstorms highlighted the need to develop flexible work arrangements to make sure the government can function during disruptive events. The bill requires agencies to create telework policies and incorporate those policies into their continuity of operations planning.”
“The federal government must acknowledge that the next generation of employees will have different expectations of what it means to go to work,” said Senator Voinovich. “Advancements in technology mean employees will expect to be able to work at any time from any place, as evidenced by the thousands of federal employees who worked from home during last winter’s snowstorms in Washington, D.C. This bill will expand telework programs for federal employees and ensure the government keeps running during weather events or emergencies.”
S. 707 makes federal employees presumptively eligible to telework and would require all agencies to:
- -establish telework policies in consultation with the Office of Personnel Management,
- -designate a Telework Managing Officer, and
- -ensure that telework is part of the agency’s continuity of operations planning.
The bill would also allow agencies, with the approval of the General Services Administration, to create travel expense test programs to accommodate teleworking employees.
The bill passed the Senate tonight by unanimous voice vote. It is cosponsored by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) and includes an amendment from Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) to expand an existing telework pilot program within the Patent and Trademark Office.
Senators Akaka and Voinovich are Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia.