Lawmakers from Virginia and Maryland teamed up Friday to offer a bill that would allow federal employees to donate their unused sick days to needier colleagues.

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) introduced the Federal Employees Leave Transfer Act of 2011, which lets government workers transfer the time to leave banks at each agency. Moran’s measure is co-sponsored by Virginia Reps. Gerald Connolly (D) and Frank Wolf (R) as well as Maryland Reps. John Sarbanes (D) and Chris Van Hollen (D).

While many agencies have leave banks, the Federal Aviation Administration is the only one that lets workers donate both annual vacation time and sick leave, according to Moran’s office.

“This legislation provides an equitable way for federal workers to help out fellow employees in times of prolonged illness,” Moran said. “The success of this policy in the Federal Aviation Administration and in the private sector should be replicated throughout all federal agencies.”

The system could be especially useful to federal workers near the end of their careers, who must “use or lose” their remaining sick leave before retirement.