Sarbanes, Wittman Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Enhance Work-Life Balance for Federal Firefighters

Congressmen John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.) today introduced the Federal Firefighter Flexibility and Fairness Act, a bipartisan bill to provide federal firefighters across the country with better workplace flexibility and improved work-life balance.

The bill would fix a longstanding disparity between federal firefighters and professional firefighters employed by states, counties or municipalities – who often work together side by side. Unlike their professional counterparts, federal firefighters have a more stringent work schedule and cannot swap their shifts without losing pay. The Federal Firefighter Flexibility and Fairness Act would correct this problem by allowing federal firefighters to trade shifts – with the approval of their supervisors – without forfeiting pay.

“Every single day, our nation’s federal firefighters work closely with state and local partners across the country to keep our communities safe,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “We must take steps to ensure that the brave women and men in our federal firefighter corps have the flexibility to balance responsibilities in the workplace with their responsibilities at home – without losing a paycheck.”

“Our federal firefighters render invaluable service in our parks, on federal lands and military bases and in our communities," said Congressman Wittman. "Like their professional firefighter counterparts, the stresses and demands of the job often make it difficult for federal firefighters to balance their home life and work life. It's time that changed. I am pleased to join with Congressman Sarbanes in introducing this bill to allow federal firefighters to trade shifts without losing pay, thus providing them a healthy work-life balance. For all they do for us, this is the least we can do for them.”