Telecommuting opportunities for federal workers would be expanded under the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (S. 707), which was recently approved by the Senate. "This winter's snowstorms highlighted the need to develop flexible work arrangements to make sure the government can function during disruptive events. The bill requires agencies to create telework policies and incorporate those policies into their continuity of operations planning," said Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), one of the bill's sponsors.
Meanwhile, a similar bill (H.R. 1722) was blocked by Republicans in the House of Representatives, said Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Maryland), who authored the legislation. However, the bill can be brought back to the floor in the future by a simple majority vote, he noted.
Sarbanes said teleworking helped the government save $30 million this winter, because some federal employees were able to work from home during snowstorms. He advocates expanding telework opportunities for federal workers.