House Introduces Retroactive Pay Raise Legislation for Federal Employees

Representative Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) has introduced the Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act of 2019, or H.R. 790. This legislation provides a 2.6% pay raise across the board which, for most employees, would be retroactively applied from Jan. 1, 2019. Rep. Connolly has framed this as necessary relief for federal workers recovering from the government shutdown.

Last year, the Senate passed an appropriations measure which provided federal employees with a 1.9 percent pay raise in a 92-6 vote. However, when President Trump announced he would not be signing the bill due to inadequate funding for the border wall, the chances for federal employees to receive a raise in the new year became slim.

Prospects of a raise became bleaker in early January when President Trump signed an executive order formalizing a pay freeze for federal employees, citing the “Nation’s fiscal situation” as the reasoning for this freeze.

Under the president’s order, military personnel received a 2.6 percent pay raise, but the automatic 2.1 percent pay raise granted to federal employees under federal pay laws was halted. This made Congressional action necessary if federal employees hoped to receive raises following the shutdown.

In the continuing resolution which reopened the government last week, no federal employee pay raise was granted.

Rep. Connelly introduced this measure to make up for the treatment of federal employees during the government shutdown.

Connelly explained in a press release, “Federal employees have dedicated their lives and careers in service to the American people. Yet far too often their sacrifice and dedication go unappreciated… We must provide the entire federal workforce with a pay increase worthy of their selfless commitment to the betterment of the American public.”

By retroactively applying the pay raise, as Rep. Connelly’s legislation does, federal employees would receive the increased wages for their time on furlough or working without pay.

Posted in From the Hill

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