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Human Resources Policy to Assist Federal Employees Called to Active Military Duty

Wednesday, June 7, 2000
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
Human Resources Policy to Assist Federal Employees Called to Active Military Duty

The Department of Defense (DoD) has asked the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to encourage Federal employing agencies to pay both the employee and government share of the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) premiums for enrolled employees who are in leave-without-pay status under certain conditions. The conditions cover Kosovo, Bosnia, and 1998 Iraq operations, as well as future contingency operations under Title 10 of the U. S. Code. I have carefully considered the Department's request. As the President's chief human resources officer, I wholeheartedly support the DoD request. The Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies should implement a uniform policy in support of DoD contingency operations by waiving the requirement that employees pay their share of the FEHB premiums incurred when they are called to active military duty for more than 30 days.

Providing support for these employees is an important issue. The Federal Government is the largest single employer of members of the uniformed services reserves, and we are proud of the dedication and commitment of our employees in a time of international crisis. Our first obligation as an employer is to make sure that those who perform active military duty are able to leave their employment temporarily with the knowledge that their affairs are in order and their rights protected.

I know I can count on your support in this area. If your staff has any questions about this policy and how to administer it, they can call OPM's Office of Insurance Policy at (202) 606-0004.