(WASHINGTON)—The American Federation of Government Employees National Council 238 of EPA Locals today filed an Information Request with EPA for information including internal memoranda dictating forced distributions of performance evaluations in violation of federal law.
“AFGE Council 238 has received numerous reports from its members that although they merited ‘outstanding’ ratings, they were given a lower rating with a supervisor apology and explanation that they had been instructed to limit the number of outstanding ratings per section, branch and division,” stated John O’Grady, president of AFGE Local 704 (EPA Region 5 – Chicago) and treasurer for AFGE Council 238. “AFGE Council 238 believes that the Agency is in violation of Federal Regulation 5 CFR 430.208(c), which specifically prohibits such forced distributions.”
In August 1995, OPM went on record that forced distributions were incompatible with effective performance management and ruled that the regulations would continue to prohibit forced distributions. OPM added that any limitations on ratings at any level used by an Agency’s appraisal program were not permitted by law.
“We have received numerous complaints from our field locals about forced distributions,” said Council 238 President Charles OrzehosKie. “This practice is illegal and those in charge of EPA must put an end to it. The Agency has to move beyond some of the practices started under the previous administration and the Agency can start by correcting this now.”
“AFGE Council 238 and EPA’s expert staff can and will tackle the environmental challenges impacting our country and world and contribute in every way possible. However, for the Agency to continue such illegal actions is incomprehensible and not in sync efforts to move the agency in a new and improved direction,” O’Grady said.
“We intend to pursue this problem vigorously and will file appropriate legal action, if necessary, to ensure that this illegal practice ends and ends now,” OrzehosKie added.