(CNSNews.com)—On Feb 17, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) introduced the COVID-19 Federal Employee Reinstatement Act. The bill seeks to provide financial compensation or full reinstatement of federal employees who were forced to resign due to the federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Rep. Gaetz said, “vaccine mandates have no place in a free country.”
“Forcing public servants to choose between destroying their livelihood or complying with immoral demands from the federal government is sickening,” said Gaetz in a press release. “The Biden administration should have never forced federal employees to resign due to the vaccine mandate.”
“Reinstating and compensating these individuals is the first step toward reconciliation,” he added. “Vaccine mandates have no place in a free country.”
On Sept. 9, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order, which required “coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination for federal employees.” In the executive order, Biden states, “I have determined that to promote the health and safety of the Federal workforce and the efficiency of the civil service, it is necessary to require COVID-19 vaccination for all Federal employees, subject to such exceptions as required by law.”
The COVID-19 Federal Employee Reinstatement Act is seeking the compensation or reinstatement of federal employees that “voluntarily or involuntarily” resigned between Sept. 9, 2021 and Jan. 24, 2022 when it was first enjoined.
The bill states that within 90 days of its passage, each agency is required to notify every respective employee that resigned that they are eligible for potential reinstatement and reimbursement. The bill offers two options for former employees, which are to either be reinstated with back pay or receive payment that is equivalent to their salary from Sept. 9, 2021.
On the basis of payment, employees have the option to receive a lump-sum or 12 payments over the course of a year. The agencies have the right to determine if reinstatement is “impracticable” and provide the former employee with the payout option.
Former employees are eligible for either option presented in the bill upon completion of a signed letter to their former agency and the Office of Personnel Management, stating they left because of the vaccine mandate.
This bill comes on the heels of a similar proposal introduced last year by Congressman Gaetz to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). A press release on Congressman Gaetz’s website states, “The NDAA amendment expressed through the sense of Congress that service members who were separated from the military after rejecting the COVID-19 vaccine mandate should be reinstated with their full rank and pay.”
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