Department of Labor (DOL) has an array of benefits programs for employees. They are:
Child Care Subsidy Program
Child care can be extremely expensive, especially for lower income families. Without quality child care arrangements, working parents are hard-pressed to remain effective either at work or at home. DOL provides child care subsidies to lower income DOL families to assist them in their efforts to obtain quality, licensed day care for dependent children through the age of 13 and disabled children through the age of 18. This program is for all full-time and part-time permanent DOL employees.
Transit Subsidy Program
Department of Labor offers a transit benefit, which is an employer-provided transit fare subsidy for all eligible employees, in order to encourage the use of mass transportation to and from work. Any salaried DOL employee who uses mass transportation to commute to and from work is eligible. The transit subsidy benefit is for use on mass transportation expenses only.
Telework (also known as flexiplace) is a work arrangement in which an employee works at an alternate location, other than the main worksite, such as the employee's home, a telecenter or other approved worksite. DOL recognizes the benefits of a flexible workplace which include: increased productivity, reasonable accommodation for disabled employees, cost savings, recruitment and retention, balancing work and family responsibilities, positive environmental impact and, most importantly, the ability to maintain continuity of operations during an emergency situation. Participation in telework is voluntary and eligibility is determined and approved by the manager.
LifeCare is a free resource and referral service available to DOL employees. It provides educational materials and personalized research. In addition, it has a comprehensive website on a variety of topics such as finance, parenting, education, adult care, legal issues and other daily life concerns. LifeCare counselors are also a valuable tool to assist employees with locating resources to help employees and their family members cope with disasters and other emergency situations.
Leave Bank Program
Unforeseen medical hardships can deplete what appears to be a sufficient amount of leave in a surprisingly short period of time and place employees in a "leave without pay" (LWOP) status. To help minimize the impact of medical emergencies, the Department of Labor (DOL) sponsors two separate leave banks: one for National Office employees and one for Regional employees.
The Leave Bank is a voluntary membership program. A leave bank is a pooled fund of annual leave. Employees who wish to join the Leave Bank must make a one-time contribution of annual leave to the bank for each year they wish to remain a member. After an employee initially elects to join the Leave Bank, membership thereafter is continuous and annual leave contributions are deducted automatically once a year unless an employee cancels his or her membership or separates from the Department. This pool of leave is then available for use by members of the Leave Bank who are absent from duty without available paid leave for three or more consecutive work days (twenty-four consecutive work hours), due to an approved personal or family medical emergency.
Voluntary Leave Transfer Program
The Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP) allows Federal employees to donate their available annual leave to approved leave recipients (excluding an employee’s immediate supervisor) who are absent from duty for three or more consecutive work days (twenty-four consecutive work hours) without available paid leave due to an approved personal or family medical emergency. The VLTP is available to most DOL employees and allows employees to apply to receive leave donations when needed, as well as donate annual leave to both approved DOL employees and employees from other participating Federal agencies. There is no membership required to participate in the VLTP. However, approval is required become an approved leave recipient.
Employee Assistance Program
When you join the DOL team, you become our most important asset. We want to help you solve your problems both on and off the job so that you are happier, more focused, and consequently more productive. As an employee, you will have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP is a professional resource available to help you resolve life’s challenges. Caring professionals will be at your disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. EAP services are free and confidential. They are available to provide counseling, crisis management, referrals to legal or financial consultants, or other resources related to your issue.
As a new or prospective employee, you may wish to visit http://www.opm.gov/retire/retire_jobseekers.asp or http://www.opm.gov/insure/new_employ/index.asp which are comprehensive sites for all Federal benefits programs. These programs include:
Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Program: This program offers a choice of plans and options to employees who receive appointments covered by a retirement system or appointments that are to be for more than one year in duration. The government pays a percentage of the cost for the insurance, and employees pay premiums on a pre-tax basis. There are no pre-existing condition clauses or waiting periods for this coverage. In addition, the health plan may continue after retirement. For additional information, see http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/index.asp.
Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program: Under the FEGLI program, you receive basic coverage when you receive a position covered by a retirement system. Additional coverage is available and must be elected within the first 60 days of the appointment. The government pays a percentage of the premiums for basic life insurance; however, you pay the premiums on the full cost of any additional life insurance. For additional information, see http://www.opm.gov/insure/life/index.asp.
Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP): This program is open to employees who are eligible for FEHB coverage, and it offers a choice of Dental-Only, Vision-Only or Dental and Vision insurance to be purchased on a group basis which means competitive premiums and no pre-existing condition limitations. Premiums are paid on a pre-tax basis. For more information, see http://www.opm.gov/insure/dental/index.asp.
Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP): Federal employees who are eligible to participate in the FEHB program may also apply for long-term care insurance. The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) provides long term care insurance to help pay for costs of care when enrollees need help with activities they perform every day, or you have a severe cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer's disease. Coverage and premiums are based on insurability. The coverage may continue when you retire. For additional information, see http://www.opm.gov/insure/ltc/index.asp and http://www.ltcfeds.com.
Holidays: There are ten (10) paid Federal holidays: New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Presidents Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veteran's Day; Thanksgiving Day; and Christmas Day. You must be in a pay status either the day before or after the holiday in order to be paid.
Annual Leave: Annual leave is provided for vacations and other personal use. The number of hours earned will depend on your work schedule and the length of time you work for the government. For additional information, see the fact sheet, http://www.opm.gov/oca/leave/html/ANNUAL.HTM.
Sick Leave: Full time permanent employees earn up to 13 days of sick leave annually. Part time employees earn leave on a pro rata basis. Time may be used for medical appointments, personal illness or injury and caring for sick family members. For additional information, see http://www.opm.gov/oca/leave/html/sicklv.htm.
Federal Flexible Spending Account (FSAFEDS): FSAFEDS allows employees who are eligible to participate in FEHB an ability to set aside pre-tax monies in a flexible spending account to pay for out of pocket costs for health care and dependent care. For further information, see https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/index.asp.
If your appointment is for more than one year, you may be covered by a retirement system. This coverage is automatic. Congress created the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) in 1986, and it became effective on January 1, 1987. Since that time, new Federal civilian employees who have retirement coverage are covered by FERS, unless they have prior civilian service with the government.
FERS is a retirement plan that provides benefits from three different sources: a pension called the Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security, and a 401K plan called the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Two of the three parts of FERS (Social Security and the TSP) can go with you to your next job if you leave the Federal Government before retirement. The Basic Benefit and Social Security parts of FERS require you to pay your share each pay period. Your agency withholds the cost of the Basic Benefit and Social Security from your pay as payroll deductions. Your agency pays its part too. Then, after you retire, you receive annuity payments each month for the rest of your life. For more information on FERS, go to www.opm.gov/retire.
The TSP part of FERS is an account that your agency automatically sets up for you. Each pay period your agency deposits into your account amount equal to 1% of the basic pay you earn for the pay period. You can also make your own contributions to your TSP account and your agency will make matching contributions. These contributions are tax-deferred. For more information about TSP, go to www.tsp.gov.
See the Social Security website at www.ssa.gov for more information about the Social Security portion of your retirement benefit.
Employees returning to Federal service with more than 5 years of previous Federal service as of 12/31/1986 are not automatically covered by FERS. If this is true for you, your retirement coverage may be CSRS or CSRS Offset. For more information, go to: http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/csrs/index.asp.