House members file brief opposing workforce executive orders
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Jul 03, 2018
A bipartisan group of current and former House members has filed an amicus brief in the case of several federal employee unions that are challenging three workforce executive orders issued by President Trump.
On May 25, President Trump signed three EOs that will 1) limit the amount of time an employee can be under investigation for misconduct and encourages firings for underperformers, 2) states that employees who conduct union activities while on the job must spend at least 75 percent of their time doing government work and 3) calls for the Office of Personnel Management to renegotiate contracts with unions regarding the reporting of official time instead of working directly with individual agencies.
By mid-June, 13 unions representing federal employees were a part of a lawsuit seeking an injunction from the court to block implementation of the orders on grounds that they conflict with the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute’s framework for labor-management relations and impede on employees’ rights to bargain over official time.
“Congress enacted the FSLMRS based on the recognition that ‘labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the public interest,’ a press release announcing the brief states. “In enacting the FSLMRS, including the provisions on official time and grievance procedures, ‘Congress unquestionably intended to strengthen the position of federal unions and to make the collective-bargaining process a more effective instrument of the public interest’,” the statement continued, adding, “The president’s new executive orders seek to do the opposite, overriding the collective-bargaining process established by Congress. The executive orders are contrary to the FSLMRS and the challenged provisions should be enjoined.”
Both former Reps. Clay and Leach were members of the House when Congress first enacted the FSLMRS in 1978, served on the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service — which had jurisdiction over the legislation — and supported the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.
Lawyers from Public Citizen filed the brief on behalf of the lawmakers.
View the brief here.