WASHINGTON – Some members of the House of Representatives are continuing their assault on working families with a venomous piece of legislation that would politicize the federal government’s workforce and give political appointees unchecked authority to fire, demote, and discipline employees at will, the American Federation of Government Employees said today.
“Giving political appointees and the managers who serve them free reign to punish workers without cause, while removing the checks and balances that keep everyone honest, is the antithesis of accountability,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
The bill, to be introduced by Rep. Todd Rokita of Indiana, would make all new federal employees “at will” workers, meaning they could be suspended or fired for any reason or no reason. It also would allow political appointees to immediately suspend current workers, deny them pay, and allow them just 10 days to appeal.
“Instead of encouraging frontline workers to report mismanagement or wasteful spending, this bill would create an environment where employees are fearful of doing or saying anything that could get them fired,” Cox said. “If this bill had been in place two years ago, we never would have heard about the Phoenix VA waitlist manipulations because no one would have dared come forward to blow the whistle on the supervisors who concocted the scheme.”
In addition, the bill would:
“This bill is called the Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency Act, but it actually would do neither,” Cox said. “In fact, a better title would be the Promote Fear and Political Allegiance Act, since it would give political appointees and their subordinates unchecked authority to target workers and politicize the civil service.”