07.16.18

Rep. Takano’s Bill to Extend Paid Sick Leave Benefits to Wounded Warriors Working at the VA Passes the House

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Rep. Steve Stivers’ (R-Ohio) Veterans Providing Healthcare Transition Improvement Act passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives. This bipartisan bill will ensure that newly hired veterans with service-connected injuries working in medical positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are able to take paid sick leave to receive the care they need. This bill will also help in hiring and recruiting veterans to fill VA “Title 38” employee vacancies nationwide.

“Veterans who choose to provide their medical skills and expertise to serve other veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs should not have to take a leave of absence to receive the care that they need,” said Rep. Mark Takano. “I am glad Congress is acting to extend benefits to wounded warriors working at the VA and making it a priority to ensure that the VA is well staffed and capable of providing veterans with much-needed services.”

The Veterans Providing Healthcare Transition Improvement Act improves existing law by correcting a loophole to provide the same Wounded Warrior Federal Leave Act benefits to VA “Title 38” employees, which include physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, chiropractors, podiatrists, optometrists, and dentists. 

“Veterans should not have to choose between receiving a full paycheck and receiving care for their service-connected disabilities. Unfortunately, current law puts many veterans in this exact position,” Rep. Stivers said. “This bipartisan legislation will correct this shortcoming in the law to ensure these veterans who have made, and continue to make, incredible sacrifices for our country have the ability to receive care without sacrificing pay. I am proud to support this important effort, and hope it will be quickly re-considered by the Senate.”

According to March 2018 data from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), there are over 14,000 “Title 38” vacancies nationwide. Extending benefits to “Title 38” employees at the VA will help with the recruitment and hiring of veterans who want to continue helping other veterans.

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