How 2020 Defense Bill Will Affect All Feds for Years to Come

Categories: DoD, OPM, The Insider

The House on July 12 passed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act with several provisions that affect not only Defense employees but all federal employees governmentwide.

The Senate version of the NDAA passed on June 27. House and Senate conferees will meet to iron out the differences in the two bills. AFGE and our members look forward to working with members of the House and Senate conference committees to ensure the final legislation continues to support our invaluable and irreplaceable federal employees at DoD and across government.

There are several important measures that our union supports. Here’s a recap of these House provisions and what they would do:

Non-DoD-specific measures that our union supports:

  • Provide paid family leave. The amendment would provide 12 weeks of paid family leave to all federal employees to use to take care of a newborn, adopt a child, foster a child, take care of a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious medical condition, take care of themselves if they have a serious medical condition, or take care of an urgent need when they or a family member is detailed for covered duty in the armed forces.
  • Protect health insurance during a government shutdown. Ensure that federal employees can enroll in federal employee health benefits program (FEHBP) in the event of a government shutdown.
  • Prohibit dismantling of OPM. The amendment would prohibit the transfers of the functions of the Office of Personnel Management to the Office of Management and Budget or the General Services Administration.

DoD-specific measures that our union supports:

  • Repeal caps on the size of the DoD workforce and establish a framework for preventing reductions and growing the DoD workforce through a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) study;
  • Repeal unwarranted extensions of probationary periods;
  • Direct audits of the misuse of term or temporary hiring authorities to circumvent whistleblower protections and probationary periods;
  • Place further restrictions on converting federal civilian employee jobs to the military and direct an audit of borrowed military manpower;
  • Consolidate hiring authorities within existing limits and require a FFRDC study to evaluate steps to improve the competitive hiring process and diversity of the workforce; strengthen federal antidiscrimination laws;
  • Prevent any merger of Commissaries and Exchanges pending a review by the Government Accountability Office;
  • Prohibit dual-status military technicians from being involuntarily converted to active, guard, or reserve status at higher cost to taxpayers.

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