NTEU Chapter 296
National Park Service
  • Public Service Reform Act
    May 25, 2023

    SUMMARY: Legislation is introduced that would make all executive branch employees at-will. 

    The Public Service Reform Act (H.R. 3115/ S. 1496), recently introduced by Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) and Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), would allow all executive branch employees to be subject to any adverse personnel action (up to and including removal) for “good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all,” essentially making them at-will.  Cosponsors at the time of introduction include Representatives Erin Houchin (R-IN), Andy Ogles (R-TN), Troy Nehls (R-TX), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Bob Good (R-VA), Harriet Hageman (R-WY), and Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL).  Senator Eric Schmitt (R-MO) cosponsored the Senate bill. 

    This bill would allow an agency to remove an employee for any reason by providing the employee with written notice and 14 days to respond, though the agency head could alter the response period.  An agency official would have sole discretion to decide whether to conduct a hearing and to make the final decision on removal, which would not be subject to any appeal or challenge, except that the President may overrule the decision.  Employees would no longer be able to bring cases before the Merit Systems Protection Board, which would be eliminated under this bill, or use the negotiated grievance process for adverse personnel actions.

    Employees who claim that the adverse personnel action is in retaliation for disclosing waste, fraud, and abuse, would have the opportunity to ask the Office of Special Counsel to make a recommendation to the agency official during the employee’s 14-day response period, and the employee could appeal the final agency decision to the US Court of Appeals in the circuit where their duty station is located.  However, if the court decides that the appeal is brought in bad faith or is frivolous, the employee’s FERS or CSRS annuity would be reduced by 25 percent, creating a chilling effect on those willing to disclose government wrongdoing.

    If enacted, this legislation would decimate the non-partisan civil service, subjecting employees to partisan whims and adversely affecting agency missions and the fair and impartial delivery of government services that Americans rely on. 

                   Rest assured that NTEU will work with our allies to fight against this bill and similar schemes that would undermine your rights, benefits, and protections.   For more information click here

                                                                                        Anthony M. Reardon

                                                                                        National President

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