As you know, the recent partial government shutdown put a lot of federal workers in a tough spot. Without paychecks, many had trouble making ends meet, even on a temporary basis. Loans for personal expenses can be hard to come by. And many federal workers still haven't received all the back pay they were promised. Now, the deadline for another shutdown is looming. How will federal employees cope?
Now that President Trump has signed a short-term deal to end the partial government shutdown, 800,000 federal employees will be headed back to work as usual, with pay. As you know, some workers deemed essential have been working without pay, but all of the affected workers have gone without paychecks for a month. On the top of everyone's mind is when the back pay will be coming.
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued stays on two nationwide injunctions involving the Trump administration's ban on military service by transgender people. Previously, federal district courts in California and Washington state had issued the injunctions to put the policy on hold while litigation continued. The Supreme Court's stays on those injunctions means that the administration may now implement the policy while litigants fight over its legality and constitutionality.
Yes. That said, there is a possibility you will get push-back from your agency. To be in the best legal position, you should be prepared to show that any protests or other free speech activities took place on your own time.
Most federal employees know that the partial government shutdown is in full swing and there is no end in sight. For the most part, there is little federal workers can do but wait and see what happens.
Will Congress and the President come up with a funding plan that will keep the federal workforce operating through the end of the year? Naturally, it's impossible to say. The deadline is Friday, and President Trump is reportedly digging in to his position that Congress must issue at least $5 billion in funding for his proposed border wall.
The 1939 Hatch Act is meant to prevent federal employees and certain state and local government employees from unduly interfering with elections. It prohibits, for example, things like intimidation, bribery, and promising benefits to coerce political support or campaign contributions. It also prohibits the use of federal funds, which includes federal workers and buildings, to assist in political campaigns. Federal employees are also forbidden from joining "any political organization which advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government."
The Office of Personnel Management has announced changes to the performance evaluation processes for Senior Executive Service and Senior Level/Scientific and Professional personnel. The revised process, called Certification 2.0, is expected to reduce the administrative burden of preparing and reviewing certification submissions. It is also meant to focus more of the OPM certification on the actual outcomes of performance evaluations rather than on compliance.
With substantial changes being proposed across the federal workforce, we're in an unsettling time. Are the changes in the President's Management Agenda aimed at gutting merit systems protections? Have leaders concluded that the federal workforce is standing in the way of progress?