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S. 1293: Foreign Service Families Act of 2019

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 2, 2019.

Foreign Service Families Act of 2019

This bill directs the Department of State to include in the Foreign Affairs Manual an updated plan for providing telecommuting employment opportunities for the spouses of overseas Foreign Service Officers.

The State Department shall facilitate employment of such spouses by providing regular career counseling, maintaining a centralized database of the skills of such spouses and available employment opportunities, and offering other employment-related assistance. (Currently, the State Department is authorized to provide such assistance but not required to do so.) The State Department shall establish a program to help such spouses access employment and education opportunities, modeled after already-authorized programs for military spouses.

The State Department shall report to Congress on the status of the implementation of the Foreign Service Family Reserve Corps (a program designed to speed up the hiring process for eligible family members of overseas Foreign Service officers), including (1) an update on the implementation of a hiring preference for Corps members, and (2) an accounting of any Corps-eligible individuals who were unable to fill a position at new location due to an inability to transfer a security clearance.

Family members of overseas government employees shall not be held to a higher employment standard for positions customarily filled by Foreign Service officers, Foreign Service personnel, or foreign nationals.