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Proposed rule would change layoff process

A proposed rule change would implement part of a 2018 workforce executive order by prioritizing performance over service length in determining who is kept and who is let go in the event of a large "reduction in force" among federal workers.

The Office of Personnel Management's proposed rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, and it comes with a 30-day comment period.

The rule change is based on part of a 2018 executive order that made it easier to fire federal employees. One section of that executive order called on agencies to prioritize employees' performance over their length of federal employment in the event of layoffs.

The current rules for mass layoffs have performance last on the list of factors to consider in the determining which employees to keep, with the type of job coming first and followed by veterans preference and service length after.

The proposed rule change would move performance up in the list, so that the order would be "tenure" or job type, performance, veterans' preference and length of service.

Currently, performance is used to "supplement an employee's length of service for purposes of determining an employee's standing on a retention register."

Under the rule change, employees would first be sorted by job type. Then, they would be ranked by performance levels within that subgroup, before being again sorted by veteran status. Service length would be used as a tie breaker if all else was equal.

Under the regulation, agencies would determine performance by adding each employee's summary level performance rating for the three most recent ratings of record before the reduction in force.

The proposed regulatory change is among other workforce policy changes coming at the end of the Trump administration, the most significant of these being a new workforce category called Schedule F under which many senior federal employees would be reclassified essentially as "at-will" workers without current civil service protections.

Democrats in the House and Senate are pushing to block the implementation of Schedule F through language in appropriations legislation expected to be finalized this week, in advance of the Dec. 18 expiration date of the current continuing resolution funding the government.

Reader comments

Wed, Dec 30, 2020

If the American tax payers RIF on senator and one congressional representative from each state to the point that there are only 2 per state maybe things would get done. Especially if their performance was tied to their paycheck. Also if one reduces the salaries by 80% and enforced term limits you would not have losers such as Schumer, Paul. McConnel, Cortez and Pelosi re-elected every year. A do nothing hot winded bunch of bloated minions. Get rid of 80% of political appointments since they do not do anything other than collect a paycheck.

Mon, Dec 28, 2020

Congress and Senate are made up of worthless self-centered egotistic bloats who make way too much money and get benefits for the little work they accomplish. Time for salary reductions and term limits so we can mitigate the damage caused by idiots such as Paul, Pelosi, McConnel, Schumer and Cortez with many more.

Thu, Dec 24, 2020

The Big Outfit in Bethesda is full of corrupt management bloat. They hire their relatives and social drinking buddies. The administrative and executive officers help write up bogus job descriptions for their management pal friends. Eliminate the number of bigoted, age biased and antimale managers and morale would improve. Management also will destroy careers of individuals who have medical issues. The performance appraisals are great for the ones who do nothing and are friends and pals of the management minion. The other folks who are productive and do excellent work get marginal reviews and are given vague non-specific ways of improvement such as learning a soft ware package that has no utility in their daily job requirements.

Fri, Dec 18, 2020

Just another item that removes federal protections. If management would do their job things would work. Another process where those in favor will survive. I’ve worked too many years with good appraisals but I might be cut out. I’m so low on the pecking order that the big wigs will win out. Yes there needs changes but not this. It can only lead to more favoritism etc.

Fri, Dec 18, 2020 Adam Montana

On its face this seems like a reasonable proposal. I personally would like to see some of the dead weight cut from the bloated bureaucracy I work under. DOD is too top heavy with too many "managers" and "leaders" and not enough workers to get the job done. Lead, follow, or get out of the way! As others have mentioned the process would get abused, but show me one that doesn't. And I echo others' sentiments that the crooked pols in both major parties need to go. If term limits are good for the Chief Executive they should be good for the career pols and their corrupt cronies. Clearly we the people are not capable of voting out our representatives. "Oh my Senator or Representative is not the problem, it is those other folks from over there." What will it take for the system to be purified and power restored to average, hard-working Americans? Term limits and curbing the influence of money and powerful "special interest groups" aka Megacorporations would be a great start. We are quick to discuss patriotism on an individual level, but is there no such thing as Corporate Patriotism? American company indeed.. until it is time to pay taxes.. Just look at all of the millionaires DC has created.. and those folks are just hanging on to the tail end of the money train. Please wake up America!!!

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