WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced the bipartisan Emergency Telework Act—legislation requiring federal agencies to lead by example and help slow the spread of coronavirus by allowing all telework-eligible federal employees to work remotely during the current public health emergency. Sinema’s bill, introduced with Republican Senator James Lankford (Okla.) and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), gives a clear directive to federal agencies to allow telework-eligible federal workers to work remotely full-time, unless there is a clear and compelling reason not to do so. It would further direct agencies to evaluate whether non-telework-eligible employees can be made telework-eligible and require a strategy to improve telework capability in the future.
 
“The federal government should lead by example and slow the spread of coronavirus by ensuring employees are teleworking. Implementing social distancing, working from home, and canceling gatherings of over 10 people will help us save lives, make this difficult time as short as possible, and allow us to get through it together,” said Sinema.
 
Sinema’s bill follows the White House Task Force and CDC’s best practices for curbing the spread of coronavirus by ensuring all telework-eligible federal workers can telework full-time during the current public COVID-19 health emergency.
 
Sinema voted for two Congressionally-approved packages to address the coronavirus. These bills included Sinema’s provisions ensuring respirators used by patients and health workers have liability coverage and are available for Arizona communities and that COVID-19 tests are free.
 
Sinema wrote to Vice President Pence and the White House Task Force about the government’s need to implement a single online webform that would allow the CDC to directly collect information from travelers and provide a more complete, accurate, and timely collection of data. Sinema also wrote to the Department of Veterans Affairs about steps it’s taking to protect the health of veterans and staff.
 
Sinema also wrote to the Vice President to ensure tribal leaders have the resources they need through the Indian Health Service, tribal health departments, and urban Indian health programs to keep their communities safe.
 
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website, www.sinema.senate.gov, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.

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