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June 2014 Archives

VA culture described as "corrosive" in report to the President

A new report on the problems with the Veterans Affairs health care system from the President's Chief of Staff Rob Nabors and acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson describes a "corrosive culture," that has led to low morale and resulted in the delaying of health care to veterans.

Public employee testimony protected by First Amendment

Cases involving whistleblowing are always in tension. Employees, whether public or private, are expected to follow instructions of supervisors and managers, and owe a duty of loyalty towards their employers. At the same time, when employees observe wrongdoing, illegal behavior or corruption, they have an obligation as a citizen to report or testify concerning the matter.

VA promises protections for whistleblowers

The ongoing revelations of the events at many Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals involving the scheduling delays for veterans seeking health care services has left many employees of the VA positioned as whistleblowers. This has created a new set of problems for the VA and for those employees.

MSPB favoring agencies in furlough rulings

Last year's furloughs of federal employees caused by the sequestration resulted in an unprecedented number of appeals being brought by federal employees to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the federal agency that hears cases involving employee disciplinary and termination. About 38,000 appeals were filed with the MSPB, which is more than six times the number heard in an average year.

CFPB working to correct discriminatory practices

Claims of discrimination within government agencies are always troubling. The federal government has often had some of the most progressive personnel policies and it is expected that the federal government, which has the responsibility to enforce many of the anti-discrimination law, should always comply with those laws.

Bill would block some future Department of Defense furloughs

Lawmakers are currently considering protecting some U.S. Department of Defense employees from future furloughs. Legislation that was introduced earlier this month would ban the DoD from furloughing those employees whose salaries are paid out of working capital funds. The argument for this reform is that fees and various charges--rather than the appropriations process--pays the salaries of these workers, and thus furloughing them does not result in any budgetary savings.

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