Text: H.R.3995 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (07/25/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 3995 Introduced in House (IH)]

<DOC>






116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3995

  To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs to submit an annual report to Congress relating to the 
    use of official time by employees of the Department of Veterans 
 Affairs, to limit the instances in which official time may be granted 
  for certain purposes to employees of the Department, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             July 25, 2019

Mr. Arrington introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
  Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on 
Oversight and Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the 
  Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs to submit an annual report to Congress relating to the 
    use of official time by employees of the Department of Veterans 
 Affairs, to limit the instances in which official time may be granted 
  for certain purposes to employees of the Department, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans, Employees, and Taxpayers 
Protection Act of 2019'' or the ``VET Protection Act of 2019''.

SEC. 2. LABOR MANAGEMENT IN DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 7 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new subchapter:

                   ``SUBCHAPTER IV--LABOR MANAGEMENT

``Sec. 751. Records on use of official time
    ``(a) Tracking of Official Time.--The Secretary shall track the use 
of official time by employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs in 
a manner that accounts for such time accurately and to a specific 
degree without the use of estimates or ranges of time.
    ``(b) Annual Report.--(1) Not later than December 31 of each year, 
the Secretary shall submit to the Office of Personnel Management and 
the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives and 
the Senate a report on the use of official time by employees of the 
Department during the most recently ended fiscal year.
    ``(2) Each report under paragraph (1) shall include, with respect 
to the fiscal year covered by the report, the following information:
            ``(A) The total amount of official time granted to 
        employees.
            ``(B) The total amount of official time expended and the 
        amount of official time expended per employee for term 
        negotiations, mid-term negotiations, general labor-management 
        relations, and dispute resolution.
            ``(C) The specific types of activities or purposes for 
        which official time was granted, and the impact which the 
        granting of such official time for such activities or purposes 
        had on the operations of the Department.
            ``(D) The total number of employees to whom official time 
        was granted, and, of that total, the number who were not 
        engaged in any activities or purposes except activities or 
        purposes involving the use of official time.
            ``(E) The total annual salary, job title, and amount of 
        official time afforded to any employee.
            ``(F) A description of any room or space designated at the 
        Department where official time activities will be conducted, 
        including the square footage of any such room or space.
            ``(G) A list of any employee granted a waiver under section 
        752(d) and justification for each such waiver.
    ``(c) Definition of Official Time.--For purposes of this section, 
the term `official time' means any period of time--
            ``(1) which may be granted to an employee under chapter 71 
        of title 5 (including a collective bargaining agreement entered 
        into under such chapter) or chapter 74 of this title to perform 
        representational or consultative functions; and
            ``(2) during which the employee would otherwise be in a 
        duty status.
``Sec. 752. Limitations on use of official time for certain purposes 
              and individuals
    ``(a) Political Activities and Lobbying.--Notwithstanding section 
7131 of title 5 or any other provision of law, any employee of the 
Department may not use official time to carry out political activities 
or activities relating to lobbying.
    ``(b) Prohibition on Use of Official Time by Certain Employees.--
The following employees of the Department may not use official time for 
any purpose:
            ``(1) Any employee appointed under section 7401(1).
            ``(2) Any employee with an annual rate of basic pay equal 
        to or greater than $100,000.
            ``(3) Any employee who is serving a probationary period.
    ``(c) Limitation on All Employees.--Any employee of the Department 
not covered by subsection (b) may spend no more than 25 percent of the 
time such employee would otherwise be in a duty status on official 
time.
    ``(d) Waiver.--(1) The Secretary may waive the requirements of 
subsection (b) or (c) with respect to an employee of the Department if 
the Secretary certifies, in writing, that the waiver is reasonable, 
necessary, and in the best interests of veterans.
    ``(2) The authority provided to the Secretary under this subsection 
shall not be subject to bargaining under this title or chapter 71 of 
title 5, and the exercise of, or failure to exercise, such authority 
shall not be an unfair labor practice under this title or such chapter.
    ``(e) Definition of Official Time.--For purposes of this section, 
the term `official time' has the meaning given that term in section 
751(c).
``Sec. 753. Termination of collection of dues
    ``Notwithstanding section 7115 of title 5, any exclusive bargaining 
agreement entered into pursuant to chapter 71 of such title by the 
Department shall provide that an employee of the Department may 
terminate a voluntary allotment for the payment of dues at any time. 
Any deductions for dues made pursuant to such allotment shall cease 
beginning on the first pay period after the termination is made.''.
    (b) Applicability.--Sections 752 and 753 of title 38, United States 
Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to any 
collective bargaining agreement entered into before, on, or after the 
date of enactment of this Act.
    (c) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following:

                    ``subchapter iv--labor management

``751. Records on use of official time.
``752. Limitations on use of official time for certain purposes and 
                            individuals.
``753. Termination of collection of dues.''.

SEC. 3. REQUIRED PROBATIONARY PERIOD FOR NEW EMPLOYEES OF DEPARTMENT OF 
              VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Probationary Period.--
            (1) In general.--Chapter 7 of title 38, United States Code, 
        is further amended by inserting after section 715 the following 
        new section:
``Sec. 716. Probationary period for employees
    ``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding sections 3321 and 3393(d) of 
title 5, the appointment of a covered employee shall become final only 
after such employee has served a probationary period of 2 years.
    ``(b) Covered Employee.--In this section, the term `covered 
employee'--
            ``(1) means any individual--
                    ``(A) appointed to a permanent position within the 
                competitive service at the Department; or
                    ``(B) appointed as a career appointee (as that term 
                is defined in section 3132(a)(4) of title 5) within the 
                Senior Executive Service at the Department; and
            ``(2) does not include any individual with a probationary 
        period prescribed by section 7403 of this title.
    ``(c) Permanent Hires.--Not later than 90 days before the 
expiration of a covered employee's probationary period under subsection 
(a), the supervisor of the employee shall determine whether the 
appointment becomes final based on regulations prescribed for such 
purpose by the Secretary.
    ``(d) Application.--With respect to any individual described in 
subsection (b)(1)(A) and to whom this section applies, sections 7501(1) 
and 7511(a)(1)(A)(ii) of title 5 shall be applied to such individual by 
substituting `completed 2 years' for `completed 1 year' in each 
instance it appears.''.
            (2) Clerical and conforming amendments.--
                    (A) Clerical.--The table of sections at the 
                beginning of such chapter, as amended by section 2, is 
                further amended by inserting after the item relating to 
                section 715 the following new item:

``716. Probationary period for employees.''.
                    (B) Conforming.--Title 5, United States Code, is 
                amended--
                            (i) in section 3321(c)--
                                    (I) by striking ``Service, or'' and 
                                inserting ``Service,''; and
                                    (II) by inserting at the end before 
                                the period the following: ``, or any 
                                individual covered by section 716 of 
                                title 38'';
                            (ii) in section 3393(d), by inserting at 
                        the end before the period the following: ``or 
                        section 716 of title 38'';
                            (iii) in sections 7501(1) and 
                        7511(a)(1)(A)(ii), by inserting ``or section 
                        716 of title 38'' after ``title 10'' in each 
                        instance it appears; and
                            (iv) in section 7541(1)(A)--
                                    (I) by striking ``title or'' and 
                                inserting ``title,''; and
                                    (II) by inserting at the end before 
                                the semicolon the following: ``, or 
                                section 716 of title 38''.
    (b) Application.--Section 716 of title 38, United States Code, as 
added by subsection (a)(1), shall apply to any covered employee (as 
that term is defined in subsection (b) of such section 716, as so 
added) appointed after the date of the enactment of this Act.
                                 <all>