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Employee Law Archives

Has the Hatch Act lost its teeth?

Back in June, the Office of Special Counsel claimed that White House advisor Kellyanne Conway had violated the Hatch Act. They recommended she should be removed from her post. But six months later, Conway is still working for the White House. It seems unlikely she will face censure anytime soon.

Federal employees: Tips to prep for your annual review

Annual reviews are commonplace in any job, but those who work in the federal sector should note that even if the review does not directly impact their pay it will have an impact on their position. A recent piece in the Federal Times notes the review could still effect consideration for promotions or other positions outside your current agency.

Vacant MSPB impacting federal workers, whistleblowers

As of March 1, the Merit Systems Protection Board no longer has any members. The three-member board has been without a two-member quorum since January 2017, when one of two remaining board members' term expired. The other remaining member's term expired March 1 after having been extended for a year.

President Trump issues executive order to freeze federal pay

In late August, President Trump announced his plan to freeze the pay of federal civilian employees. Now, in the midst of the partial government shutdown, he has finalized that plan. On Dec. 28, he issued an executive order formalizing the 2019 pay freeze. Federal workers had been slated to receive a nominal 1.9 percent increase in 2019.

Arbitrator: USPS must rescind policy on unpaid political leave

In July 2017, the Office of Special Counsel called on all federal agencies to disallow unpaid union official leave when its purpose was for an employee to engage in "partisan political activity." It claimed that allowing leave for that purpose violates the Hatch Act, which limits federal employees' participation in political campaign activities.

OMB director defends proposed pay freeze as a strategic decision

President Trump's 2019 budget proposal included a pay freeze for federal workers during the federal fiscal year and slow the pace of step increases. It also documented the administration's intention to rely on "pay for performance" to determine federal workers' salaries rather than the current tenure-based step increase system. At a recent House Appropriations Committee hearing, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney defended the proposed changes.

GAO puts security clearance process on its High Risk List

"Currently, executive branch agencies are unable to investigate and process personnel security clearances in a timely manner," says the Government Accountability Office, which has added the federal security clearance process to its High Risk List. The list was created by the nonpartisan watchdog agency in 1990 in an effort to emphasize areas in serious need of reform or improvement to avoid waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement.

Protecting federal worker rights in midst of 'distrumption'

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.

Uber board agrees to personnel recommendations from outside firm

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.

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