FH+H Of Counsel Bill Aramony Publishes Blog on Executive Orders Affecting Federal Employees

President Donald Trump signed three Executive Orders (EOs) on Friday, May 25, that will affect federal employees in multiple ways.

In response, FH+H Of Counsel Bill Aramony published a blog, specifically reviewing the “Executive Order Promoting Accountability and Streamlining Removal Procedures Consistent with Merit System Principles”. He explains how the new legislation affects discipline proposals, ways to address unacceptable employee performance, and more.

Read an excerpt of Aramony’s blog below, or see the full article here.


Friday, May 25, 2018, President Trump signed three Executive Orders that impact Federal Employees
By FH+H Of Counsel Bill Aramony  -  Published May 27

President Donald Trump already has signed legislation expediting and streamlining rights of employees at the Department of Veteran Affairs. He now has passed Executive Orders (EO) that will impact other federal employees.

The EOs are:

  • Executive Order Developing Efficient, Effective, and Cost-Reducing Approaches to Federal Sector Collective Bargaining (May 25, 2018);
  • Executive Order Promoting Accountability and Streamlining Removal Procedures Consistent with Merit System Principles (May 25, 2018), and;
  • Executive Order Ensuring Transparency, Accountability, and Efficiency in Taxpayer Funded Union Time Use (May 25, 2018).

Here, I give a few random thoughts on the merit system principles, or civil servant, Executive Order (EO). If in trouble, get an experienced attorney immediately. Here are few reasons why:

The EO asks for reports of disciplinary actions not decided within specified time periods. You will not have a lot of time before you get a decision on a proposal to discipline.

In addition, agencies are encouraged to limit the notice period to 30 days. Information on discipline will be shared with other federal agencies which could impact getting another job. If reprimanded or getting any other notice that recurrence of the alleged behavior or performance could result in future discipline, get some legal advice and consider a plan for the future.

Agency’s discretion to employ Chapter 75 procedures to address unacceptable performance of an employee is limited; I think this means performance improvement periods in many cases and a bad faith-issued PIP can be difficult to beat. Suspension instead of removal is not encouraged.

A separate EO provision is that progressive discipline need not be used if an offense justifies removal. That is, you will not have a lot of time if proposed for discipline but also need to get ahead the curve early, not wait for the proposal to discipline or performance improvement period.

Agency heads will implement the EO in 45 days. For existing cases, an issue in resolving the case may be Section 5 of the EO, which prohibits agencies from resolving employee cases by removing, altering, or withholding from another agency any information about a civilian employee’s performance or conduct in the employee’s official personnel records.

Read the full blog on Aramony’s website here.

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