September 17, 2019

Tim Kauffman

[email protected]

Trump Administration Seeks to Limit Federal Workers’ Due Process Rights Under Proposed Regulations

Categories: Workers' Rights, OPM, Executive Orders

OPM issues proposed rules to implement provisions of three White House executive orders targeting federal workers

WASHINGTON – The Office of Personnel Management today took another step toward dismantling due process rights for public-sector workers in the federal government.

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.

Among the many questionable provisions in the administration’s proposal, OPM wants to implement the following anti-worker provisions:

  • Place probationary employees in limbo. The proposed rule would require supervisors to provide an affirmative determination of “satisfactory performance” before taking an employee off probationary status, but imposes no penalties for supervisors who do nothing – either positive or negative – with respect to the determination.
  • 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.
  • Abolish clean record settlements. OPM wants to make it harder to amicably settle employment disputes and instead make their resolution less effective and efficient and more contentious.
  • Abolish progressive discipline. OPM wants to allow agencies to impose disparate penalties on similarly situated employees – an open door for discrimination and retaliation. Arbitrators also will be prevented from ensuring that discipline and penalties are fairly assessed, leaving to managers the right to impose unfair and disparate penalties.

AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement:

“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. 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.”

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