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Employee Rights Archives

Pressure is on for agencies to use performance data in management

According to a Sept. 5 report by the Government Accountability Office, the average federal agency has done little over the past 20 years to increase its use of performance data to make management decisions, or even to adopt practices to promote its use. In particular, the GAO compared a 2013 survey to the most recent (2017) survey of 24 agencies and found little change.

Judge overturns 3 executive orders, demands good faith bargaining

A federal judge has overturned most of the key provisions of the three executive orders affecting federal employees that President Trump signed in late May. Among other changes, one executive order directed federal agencies to renegotiate all union contracts involving federal employees and changed what was to happen when negotiations stall. Another limited the overall length of performance improvement plans to 30 days and constrained appeals. A third restricted the "official time" available to be used for union activities.

Can your polygraph results be used against you?

Current and prospective federal employees are sometimes required to undergo a polygraph exam as part of their security clearance applications or renewals. Mostly, the "lie detector test" is required for people seeking a high security clearance within the intelligence community or the Defense Department.

Paid parental leave: A retention issue for the federal workforce?

The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2018 was introduced in the House of Representatives on June 28. The proposal would provide most federal employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child. Workers would not be required to use up their sick time or annual leave in order to take parental leave.

Agencies reassure workers Trump reorganization in early stages

The Trump administration has just released a report offering the first details of a major government reorganization. Most of the proposed changes are to the Office of Personnel Management, although there could be significant shifts of programs between a variety of agencies.

Coalition of unions challenges Trump's recent executive orders

In late May, President Trump signed three executive orders that purport to make changes to federal workers' rights. One order limited the length of performance improvement plans (PIPs) to 30 days. The second directed agencies to renegotiate all union contracts and changed the way agencies can operate when negotiations stall, among other proposed changes to federal collective bargaining. The third restricts the use of official time for union activities.

AFGE sues over executive order limiting use of official time

On May 25, President Trump signed three executive orders affecting the federal workforce. One limits how much time workers can spend on probation when under investigation for misconduct, thus encouraging firings. Another called for the OMB to renegotiate all union contracts involving the federal workforce and to post those contracts online. A third order attempts to restrict the use of official time spent on union activities by requiring federal workers to spend at least 75 percent of their time on government work and introducing a cap on each bargaining unit's use of official time overall.

GSA reauthorizes federal workers' job location reimbursement

Early last month, we discussed how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made what we hoped was an inadvertent change to a certain benefit for federal employees. Under previous law, workers who relocated for their jobs were allowed to deduct reimbursements for certain moving and travel expenses using the Withholding Tax Allowance and Relocation Income Tax Allowance computation. The TCJA removed those reimbursements from the computation while leaving the employee's home sales' excludable tax status unchanged.

Happy Public Service Recognition Week. Now let's overhaul.

The first full week of May is Public Service Recognition Week, which honors federal, state, county and local government workers nationwide. Thank you for your hard work throughout the year. Many public sector employees find their work satisfying and rewarding, and we hope our readers do, too.

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