Bill Introduced to Make Federal Employees At-Will Workers


Get the bulletin board-ready story, here.

On September 28, 2016 Representative Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) introduced H.R.6278, a bill aimed at dismantling the statutory due process protections afforded to federal employees by making them at-will employees. Becoming an at-will worker means several of the protections enjoyed by federal employees would disappear, including the right to appeal suspensions or terminations. Additionally, the bill seeks to prevent federal employees from earning a salary while conducting legally-mandated employee representation work on Official Time.

What Representative Rokita and too many of his colleagues in the House of Representatives assume is that by stripping dedicated civil servants of their right to due process proceedings, the government would inexplicably become more efficient. In reality, the due process protections federal employees receive were established with the specific purpose of increasing government efficiency and protecting against political patronage systems. Representative Rokita’s bill would allow for federal managers to fire any employee at any time for any reason. Anything from a disagreement over sports allegiances to ideological differences, leaving the terminated employee no option for appeal. Worse yet, managers could fire entire departments only to replace employees with friends and families. This bill would be an unprecedented step backwards in governance and could potentially put the American taxpayer at risk of losing fundamental government services.

What Representative Rokita refers to as an attempt to make government more efficient is so laughably misguided, it is no wonder he introduced the bill right before Congress went on recess. Representative Rokita knows he cannot logically defend his bill, and he is afraid of being pressed by NFFE-IAM members and our allies on the Hill and in the media to explain himself.

“This bill would certainly undermine the effects of laws, regulations and other safeguards that federal employees have,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “This bill is a slap in the face to the hundreds of thousands of federal employees who get up every day and do the business of our government and our nation, from taking care of our veterans, to putting their lives on the line to protect our communities and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfires. It demeans their valuable contributions and flies in the face of the concept of good government. It will have a deleterious effect on the ability of the government to attract, and retain, workers with the talent and skills needed in the future. Mr. Rokita and the supporters of this bill need to go back to the drawing board and spend their time solving real problems instead of continuing to attack federal employees.”

Federal employees and NFFE-IAM members can do something about this outrageous attack on due process. United, we must let Representative Rokita know why his bill is bad for government efficiency, transparency and puts the American taxpayer at risk of losing critical government services. 
Call Representative Rokita and tell him you are a federal employee and you find his legislation, H.R.6278 to be outlandish and laughably misguided: (202) 225-5037*
Next, call your member of Congress and urge them to support federal employees due process protections and to oppose H.R.6278 or any other attempts to expedite or mitigate due process protections afforded to federal employees: (202) 224-3121*
*When contacting Congress, be sure to do so when not on duty time and away from your government computer.

At-will employees have virtually zero opportunities for recourse when fired without cause

Get the bulletin board-ready story, here.