Wounded Warriors Leave Act passes Senate

The U.S. Senate has approved a bill to ensure that wounded warriors can work in the legislature. The measure was sponsored by U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and Congressman Gregg Harper and the legislation will modify the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act to ensure disabled veterans working in the legislative branch can attend medical appointments without penalty.

“This bill would remove a barrier that could keep wounded warriors from serving in the legislative branch of our government.  It would ensure they can work and still see their doctors and make medical appointments,” Hyde-Smith said.

The Senate approved the bill to amend the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act late Thursday by unanimous consent, and it will soon be signed into law. The House bill was authored by Harper and Hyde-Smith introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

“I’m pleased to join Congressman Harper in making this simple, but important, change to benefit disabled veterans, who can bring their unique experience to congressional and legislative branch offices,” Hyde-Smith said.

Currently, the Office of Personnel Management requires veterans who are federal employees to certify that their use of disabled veteran leave is related to medical treatment for a service-connected disability.  The new legislation will now allow House or Senate rules committees to set leave standards regarding self-certification requirements for legislative branch employees who use disabled veteran leave.