News from Congress: On January 16, 2019, the President signed S.24, the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 into law. S.24 contains important provisions for federal employees subject to the present partial government shutdown, as well as for employees affected by future appropriations lapse furloughs.
News from the Federal Circuit: Although the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is currently shut down and without quorum, its chief reviewing court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, has continued deciding federal sector adverse action cases. Federal Circuit decisions of interest issued since the shutdown began include the following:
Developments at OPM: On January 10, 2019, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued new guidance to clarify the effects of the ongoing furlough on federal employees' use-or-lose annual leave.
News from the Courts: On August 11, 2017, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its revised opinion in Ortiz-Diaz v. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, No. 15-5008. Reversing its own prior decision, the panel reinstated portions of Mr. Ortiz-Diaz's EEO complaint.
Developments at OPM: On July 13, 2017, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) published a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register (82 Fed.Reg. 32,263-32,281). The Proposed Rule implements recent legislation modifying the legal structure for administrative leave for federal employees.
Developments at the EEOC: On January 3, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a Final Rule in the Federal Register, 82 Fed.Reg. 654-681. The Final Rule clarifies the federal government's obligations as a model employer of disabled individuals.
News from the White House: On December 23, 2016, President Obama signed S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (NDAA). This law contained several important changes in the law relevant to federal employees, specifically in three areas: administrative leave, negative paper trails, and buyouts for DoD employees.
Can civil employees be fired for their political leanings or scientific pursuits?