At the Federal Practice Group, our federal trial attorneys are well-regarded by our peers for the elite advocacy we offer. Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino was recently quoted in a segment on Federal News Radio regarding several new bills Congress is currently considering.
The three bills are the Official Personnel File Enhancement Act, the Senior Executive Service Accountability Act, and the Administrative Leave Reform Act. If passed, these bills would harm the due process rights federal employees are guaranteed and remove protections afforded to federal employees during the disciplinary process.
As for those in the SES, the bill would extend the SES probationary period from one year to two, and put in place procedures allowing agency leaders to fire executives and appointees with just five days’ notice.
Critics have suggested that the bills would essentially make these employees guilty until they can be proven innocent. The expedited firing procedures also may fail to speed up the process; Attorney D’Agostino has pointed out that the agencies typically drag their feet, adding that in cases of employee discipline “all of the deadlines are pointed to the employee, and all the accountability for missing a deadline is pointed at the employee. Where there are deadlines on the government and the government misses them, there’s no accountability for that.”
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz has admitted that there are issues with the bill, and plans to work with other members of the committee to draft an alternative version which addresses some of these concerns.
To learn more about the bill, read the full article featuring Attorney D’Agostino here.