Passed June 23, 2017
President Trump signed a bill into law that would directly affect the Department of Veteran Affairs. As a result of this passage, it will be easier to fire “bad” employees within the department while also ensuring more protection for workers when they bring misbehavior to attention. For example, if a worker notices any type of malpractice in the office he/she can bring that into the light while knowing that their job is completely protected because of this law. In addition, this bill will grant more authority to Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin to fire employees, shorten the appeals process for firing, and ensure employees are not paid while they going through the appeal process. This bill will also include new protections to stop any form of retaliation for workers who have complaints against the Veteran Affairs Office and decreases the time spent to hire new employees to fill any worker shortage in the department.
This bill passed by a vote of 368 – 55, showing its true bipartisan nature. This measure will fundamentally change the way the Department of Veteran Affairs will function in many methods. Phil Roe (R – Tenn.//bill’s author) claimed “To bring real reform, we need to provide Secretary [David] Shulkin with the tools he needs to swiftly discipline employees who don’t meet standards our veterans deserve or who fail in their sacred mission to provide world-class health care and benefits to the men and women who have served,” Many politicians that were not on board with this bill claimed that this would lead to a slippery slope slowly dismantling protections for federal employees. In response, Shulkin has promised that this will not be used as a “tool for mass firings” but to increase morale and attract new employees to the department.
- Federation of Government Employees – The largest federal employee union that offers legal representation, legislative advocacy, and other services.
- National Treasury Employees Union – The nation’s largest independent union of federal employees, representing 150000 workers in 31 departments and agencies.
- National Federation of Federal Employees – It represents Federal employees across the nation, District of Columbia and overseas.
This Brief was compiled by Vaibhav Kumar. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this Brief please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.