The Office of Personnel Management took another step toward dismantling due process rights for federal employees.
Under a proposed rule published Sept. 17 in the Federal Register, OPM is proposing to change existing workplace rules to allow employees to be disciplined or removed with little recourse.
These rules implement controversial anti-worker provisions of the three White House executive orders targeting federal employees.
Among the many questionable provisions in the administration’s proposal, OPM wants to implement the following provisions:
- Abolish progressive discipline
OPM wants to allow agencies to impose disparate penalties on similarly situated employees – an open door for discrimination and retaliation. Arbitrators will also be prevented from ensuring that discipline and penalties are fairly assessed, leaving to managers the right to impose unfair and disparate penalties.
- Limit employee performance improvement periods to 30 days
Agencies will be relieved of any obligation to provide assistance or direction to employees looking to improve their performance, a step in the wrong direction since it takes an enormous amount of time and money to recruit, hire and train people.
- Abolish clean record settlements
A clean record settlement allows an employee and the agency to quickly settle a dispute over an adverse personnel action. It prevents disputes from escalating into expensive, lengthy legal battles. But OPM wants to get rid of these settlements and make the entire process less effective and efficient and more contentious.
“These proposed regulations encourage management by fear and intimidation and assume that managers are incapable of working with employees to help them improve their performance,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “If these rules go into effect, they will greenlight arbitrary and discriminatory discipline against employees who will have little recourse to challenge poor or politically corrupt management.”