If you try to look up the word "distrumption" in the dictionary, you won't find it. That's one of the interesting things about language. It can change with the times, and right now, we think it might be argued that distrumption seems to express what is being felt throughout the federal government and its workforce. That is not a statement about the rightness or wrongness of what's happening – merely an observation of current conditions.
When employees are concerned that their working conditions may not be legal, they're often wise to discuss those concerns with a third-party lawyer. Someone who is uninvolved but with knowledge of labor and employment law can be very helpful in determining if the concerns are valid and what steps to take next.
In the labor relations model that has developed in the United States, the perception that dominates is that it is adversarial. Workers are on one side leveraging the strength of their numbers to press demands for better wages and conditions. On the other side is business, looking to maintain its wealth.
A lot can change in a short period of time. As we noted in a post in October, it appeared that employees for federal contractors were headed for some improvements in benefits under orders and rules issued by the Labor Department under President Obama.
The federal government puts a lot of stock in the notion of candor. Failing to be forthcoming when asked questions during an investigation could lead to disciplinary action. As we noted in a post two years back, a charge of "lack of candor" proved to be a career ender for an administrative officer at the Federal Aviation Administration.
Making and enforcing policy in any organization is a tough job. Federal workers tasked with such work face the additional hurdle of having to try to accomplish it under the shadow of competing political ideologies and oversight.
Attorneys with deep experience dealing with the complicated systems of federal employment know that it's no bed of roses. Government workers in Texas or any other state face a veritable quagmire of procedural steps when management initiates action based on allegations of misconduct or underperformance.
The headline a few days ago was eye-catching. "Obama Just Guaranteed Sick Days For More Than A Million Workers." Some pundits now wonder if this could be the first step toward a major shift toward extending the reach of laws protecting federal workers in Texas and elsewhere to the whole economy. Time will answer the question. What we know is that the new rule comes over the objections of business lobbyists.
Congress holds the purse strings of government spending. Just because both chambers are in Republican control doesn't mean that the legislative ship of state is cruising along smoothly along solid party lines. All Texas readers have to do is examine the situation that exists over the government's policy on giving military veterans hiring preference for federal positions.
Readers of this blog in Texas, Atlanta, Washington or anywhere else in the country will appreciate that operating in the realm of the federal work force takes a special kind of person. It also takes a unique level of patience and awareness about bureaucracy, administrivia and, most importantly, the law.