Legislation Would Make All Federal Employees 'At-Will' Hires
A bill introduced by Representative Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) seeks to take an unusually forward approach to federal workforce matters, aiming to classify all new federal hires as “at-will” employees.
Rokita introduced the bill – called the Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency (PAGE) Act (H.R. 3257) – this week, marking the second consecutive Congress he has put the proposal forward.
The bill would allow that “any employee in the civil service” hired one year after the legislation’s enactment “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.”
As outlined by FedSmith, the bill also contains a number of other provisions. Among other effects, the legislation would:”
- Allow agency heads to immediately suspend federal employees for misconduct or poor performance “if the head determines that the misconduct or performance of the employee warrants such suspension.”
- place a limitation on appeal rights.
- Prohibit annual pay raises if an employee did not receive at least a score of 4 or 5 out of 5 (or an equivalent rating with respect to a performance appraisal system that does provide for such a scoring system) on his or her latest performance review under the performance appraisal system.
- Deny employees their CSRS or FERS annuities if convicted of a felony.
- Allow an agency to transfer an individual occupying a Senior Executive Service position who is not an at-will employee to a position within the General Schedule.
The new standards would also deny bonuses to an employee if “the number of employees receiving a score of 4 out of 5 (or an equivalent rating with respect to a performance appraisal system that does provide for such a scoring system) does not exceed 50 percent of all employees in that agency.”
The bill currently has three cosponsors, in addition to Rokita himself. The iteration introduced in the 114th Congress had only one and the legislation never made progress beyond its initial introduction.
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