Top News from FEDmanager
Friday marked the first day federal employees from nine government agencies failed to receive a paycheck. Some of these employees have created online donation accounts to cover basic living expenses during their time without pay. While this can be an effective way to cover expenses, federal employees must be wary of ethical limitations to receiving gifts from outside sources.
Last week’s FEDtalk round table featured Jessie Bur of Federal Times, Charles Clark of Government Executive, and Jason Miller of Federal News Network with host Jason Briefel for insiders’ perspectives on how the shutdown in affecting the federal government. Their discussion brought listeners outside of just the federal workforce to understand how the shutdown impacts contractors, local businesses, and innovations throughout the entire federal community.
Congress has passed legislation that will grant back pay to employees on furlough and working without pay during this government shutdown and any future government shutdowns that may take place. President Trump has indicated that he will sign the legislation. While this brings some relief to federal workers affected by the shutdown, Congress is still working to ensure contractors and other impacted groups receive compensation.
After a federal district court ruled that a Patent and Trademark Office employee’s amendment to his initial EEO complaint reset the 180-day timeline for the accrual of the employee’s right to file a judicial suit, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the district court ruling, finding that the plain language of Title VII contemplates amendments to the initial complaint.
While nearly 800,000 federal employees go without pay this month during the government shutdown, some members of Congress are working to halt their own paychecks as a symbol of solidarity. The No Work, No Pay Act has been introduced in both chambers of Congress and would prohibit legislative branch representatives from collecting a paycheck while any branch of government is closed.
In the wake of the recent government shutdown and subsequent strains on the federal community, we have had many FEDS members contact us with concerns about how to handle current or upcoming furloughs. FEDS recognizes the potential negative implications surrounding a government shutdown for all agency employees and stand by you. Below, we have outlined possible areas in which the furlough could lead to adverse employment consequences and tips on how to avoid these situations until the shutdown is resolved.
Over 800,000 federal employees remain out of work or working without pay due to the partial government shutdown. This week, employee groups are joining together to send a message to lawmakers that the government must be funded. The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), alongside 33 other public sector employee groups, have organized a rally to be held on Friday, January 11 in Washington, D.C. As the effects of the shutdown increase, groups have formed similar movements across the country.
Over three weeks ago the federal government shut down due to lack of funding. Today, it remains closed. President Trump called several meetings with Congressional leadership last week but continues to say he will sign legislation only if it includes funding for a border wall- an appropriations measure Democrats have refused to fund. Not only are 800,000 federal employees either on furlough or working without pay, but soon, the federal courts will also be running out of funds and shutting down.
Rep. Bradley Bryne (R-Al.) has reintroduced a bill from 2015 which would allow at least 10 agencies to be reviewed for removal. The Sunset Inefficient and Unaccountable Government Act (H.R. 7334) would require agencies and departments to undergo a review every 10 years before Congress. If Congress fails to reauthorize the agency or department, the agency head must move forward with its dissolution. National defense and security agencies are exempt from the requirement.
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, via a panel decision, held that when a federal employee is removed from service on a charge of “positive test for illegal drug use,” there is no requirement for the government to prove that the employee intended to use an illegal drug.
While it’s not Open Season for Life Insurance, it’s a perfect time to evaluate your coverage. Life insurance is a vital tool when it comes to safeguarding your family’s future. How would your family’s income be impacted if you passed away? What if you receive a terminal diagnosis? What will your family need to retain financial stability? Fortunately, you can apply for WAEPA’s Group Term Life Insurance at any point in the year – meaning you don’t have to wait for an Open Season period to supplement or replace your coverage from FEGLI.
The Democrats have started the 116th Congress by introducing House Resolution 1, or H.R. 1, which calls for sweeping anti-corruption reforms throughout the federal government. While Senate Republicans have already shot down the chance of the entire package becoming law anytime soon, individual aspects of the reform package are likely to be taken up as the term moves forward.
Much has been written about the current partial government shutdown as it approaches its third week, and rightfully so. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees across the country remain unable to perform their constitutionally-mandated missions until the shuttered agencies and departments are properly funded by Congress and signed into law by the President. Millions of dollars in production are lost and the services Americans count on are simply not performed. As the shutdown continues –without end in sight – another devastating policy towards feds was enforced over the holidays. On the evening of Friday, December 28, 2018, President Trump issued an executive order calling for a freeze of federal employees’ pay in fiscal year 2019.
Even with a shutdown in place, there is much to discuss about the workings of the federal government as the new year begins. Tune in this Friday, January 11 for the first FEDTalk of the New Year. A roundtable of guests will be providing the most up to date federal news while taking a look back on the successes, and failures, of 2018.
In what has become something of a holiday season tradition, federal agencies are again passing word to their employees that a government shutdown is possible if, within the next three days, President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress cannot agree on a spending package to fund various key functions of the federal government.
During a hearing on the security clearance backlog in front of the House Armed Services Committee, Director for Defense Intelligence Gary Reid announced that the Department of Defense and Office of Personnel Management will merge their background investigation functions.
In this year's newly-released iteration of the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings, the latest numbers hint at larger underlying stories within the ranked agencies.