7/25/17 Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) finally re-introduced legislation H. R. 3257 that would classify all new federal hires as “at-will” employees. The harshest provisions would target new hires, but other provisions in the PAGE Act would impact current employees and senior executives.
Agency heads could choose to immediately suspend a current employee for misconduct or poor performance, the legislation said.
The agency must give employees a written notice detailing the specific reasons for the suspension, no later than 10 days after the first day of the suspension itself.
Only after the suspension could employees respond and provide evidence in their support, obtain a lawyer and then review the agency’s final case.
Employees could also appeal the disciplinary action to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
The legislation also bars federal employees from receiving an annual pay raise in some situations.
Federal employees could only do union work if they’re designated as performing in a non-duty status. The legislation also clarifies that employees who do solicit new membership, collect dues or engage in union election activity must maintain records of that work for up to two years or for the term of the collective bargaining unit.
The legislation discourages employees from using government property, such as offices, space or computers, for union work. Read more
Limitation on official union time
‘‘(a) In carrying out any activities relating to the internal business of a labor organization (including the solicitation of membership, elections of labor organization officials, and collection of dues), an employee may not—
‘‘(1) perform such activities unless such employee is in a non-duty status; or
‘‘(2) use any Government property (including office space or computers).
‘‘(b) Employees engaging in such activities must truthfully and accurately account for their time spent in carrying out such activities, and may not engage in any political activities that may impact such employee’s Agency.
‘‘(c) Documents, communications and things prepared by or in the possession of employees engaged in any activity relating to a labor organization that is engaged in collective bargaining activities with said employee’s Agency shall maintain the records of such activities for a period of at least two years or the term of the collective bargaining agreement, plus six months, and produce copies of such records in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.’’.
SEC. 2. At-will employment status for new Federal employees.
(a) In general.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any employee in the civil service hired on or after the date that is 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act shall be hired on an at-will basis. Such an employee may be removed or suspended, without notice or right to appeal, from service by the head of the agency at which such employee is employed for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all.
“In this subchapter—
“(1) the term ‘employee’ has the meaning given such term in section 7501(1) and includes any employee of the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission, but does not include any at-will employee (as determined under section 2 of the Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency Act); and
“(2) the term ‘suspend’ means the placing of any employee, for misconduct or poor performance, in a temporary status without duties.
“(a) Under regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management, the head of an agency may suspend (with or without pay) an employee of such agency if the head determines that the misconduct or performance of the employee warrants such suspension. The period of any such suspension shall be determined by the head.
“(1) a written notice, not later than 10 days after the first day of such suspension, stating the specific reasons for the suspension;
“(2) a reasonable time, but not less than 10 days, to answer orally and in writing and to furnish affidavits and other documentary evidence in support of the answer;
“(3) be represented by an attorney or other representative; and
“(4) a review of the case by the agency head and a written final decision and the specific reasons therefor at the earliest practicable date.