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Employee Rights Archives

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.

TCJA changes federal workers' reimbursement for job relocation

There is an apparently unforeseen consequence of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that affects federal employees who have been reassigned. Under previous law, when federal employees relocated for their jobs they could deduct certain travel and moving expenses. Those deductions seem to have been removed by the new tax law. A coalition of federal employee associations hopes they can be reinstated when the Treasury Department and GSA update policies and regulations to comply with the new law.

House reinstates rule allowing it to cut federal workers' pay

On March 20, the House of Representatives decided to continue the so-called "Holman rule" through the end of the current Congress. The rule gives Congress the power to target individual federal workers for pay cuts or to gut specific agency programs through lack of funding.

Trump seeks to make it easier to fire 'bad' federal employees

In his State of the Union address, President Trump urged lawmakers to make it easier to "remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people." As an example, he referred to the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act that he signed into law in June of last year.

Were you arrested for DWI over the holidays? Take action now

If you're a federal employee or are applying for a federal job, a drunk driving arrest can be a big deal. First, it can cause you to miss work, which could lead to performance concerns. If your job requires you to have a valid driver's license, you may face real challenges. Also, an employer's concerns about your alcohol consumption can create problems with your security clearance.

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