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IRS to Workers: Come Back. (Bring Your Own Face Masks)

IRS is asking 10K employees to come back to work for incentive pay
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2020 6:43 AM CDT
IRS to Workers: Come Back, Bring Your Own Face Masks
President Trump's name is printed on a stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, Thursday, April 23, 2020, in San Antonio.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The IRS is asking about 10,000 employees it deems "mission-critical" to come back to work beginning Monday, reports Politico, an "initial wave" that will task workers with "opening taxpayer correspondence, handling tax documents, taking taxpayer telephone calls, and performing other functions related to the filing season." But while CNN reports that workers will be volunteers and offered incentive pay, the IRS is requiring them to wear face masks—but appears to be a little light on said PPEs. Per an agency memo: "Employees are therefore required to bring personal face coverings for their nose and mouth area when they come to work. As stated in the CDC recommendations, these face coverings can be fashioned from common household materials, such as clean t-shirts or bandanas."

That gap attracted the wrath of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal and Rep. John Lewis, who blasted the IRS as "completely irresponsible and unethical ... to demand those workers obtain their own protective equipment—this is the responsibility of the federal government to its workers.” (More IRS stories.)

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