Spouses and dependents of U.S. service members stationed in Italy will no longer be forced to give up important treaty protections in order to telework for American employers.
It was announced by military officials this week. The change ends over a decade of policy that forced thousands of spouses of military personnel, Defense Department civilians, and Pentagon contractors to choose between continuing their careers or giving up their rights and protections under the NATO Status of Forces Agreement.
Over the years, many military spouses quit their jobs or chose not to pursue telework opportunities in the U.S., fearing unintended consequences from giving up their SOFA status to seek or maintain employment.
This meant losing income that often substantially contributed to families’ well-being, pushing some to the brink of poverty
The announcement allows families to make informed decisions when they take an overseas assignment. It also gives hope that similar rules for military spouses and DOD dependents living in other countries, such as Belgium, can be changed.