By Adam Andrzejewski
Call it a personal bailout for bureaucrats. The “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021” – a $1.9 trillion emergency aid package to help America recover from the coronavirus pandemic has an extra perk for federal workers: Enhanced paid time off if your child is enrolled in a school that isn’t back to full-time, in-classroom instruction.
The new perk is funded through a new $570 million family leave account exclusively for federal workers.
Full-time federal employees can take up to 600 hours in paid leave until September 30, up to $35 an hour and $1,400 a week. That is 15 weeks for a 40-hour employee. Part-time and “seasonal” employees are eligible, too, with equivalent hours established by their agency.
In 78 large agencies, the average federal worker already made $100,000+ in cash compensation and received 43 days of paid-time-off (PTO). Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com estimate that existing PTO perk costs the American taxpayer $20 billion every year.
While millions of parents struggle to work from home with kids who are enrolled in shuttered or partially-shuttered schools, and while millions more left the workforce or lost jobs to care for their at-home children, evidently parents in the federal bureaucracy need their own, personal Covid-19 bailout.
Here is how a federal employee “caring for a son or daughter” qualifies for the paid leave, specifically:
“if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, if the school of such son or daughter requires or makes optional a virtual learning instruction model or requires or makes optional a hybrid of in-person and virtual learning instruction models, or the childcare provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to Covid-19 precautions…”
The American Rescue Act provided regular Americans – individuals – a one-time $1,400 payment. Federal workers with kids not in school full-time can now receive $1,400 per week – for 15 weeks – up to $21,000!
How is that fair to the hardworking taxpayer?
Originally published by RealClearPolicy. Republished with permission.