HR Headline Roundup for July 29-August 2, 2019

White House Sees Path for Less Interference in Implementing Its Government Reorganization, Nextgov

Administration officials announced that despite bipartisan pushback from Congress and government employees, the two-year federal budget framework agreed to earlier this week and existing rules allow them to move ahead with as many as 12 of the 32 agency and department eliminations and mergers it proposed in 2018.

Study: 2019 Shutdown Deeply Affected IRS Employees’ Finances, Health, Government Executive

Among a group of Utah-based federal workers who went on furlough during the December 2019-January 2019 government shutdown, “more than 35 percent missed a rent or mortgage payment, 30 percent went to a food pantry, 72 percent experienced mental health issues, 42 percent wanted to make a career change and 65 percent were very or somewhat concerned about their finances post-shutdown.”

Obesity Discrimination Ruled Unlawful in Washington State, Seattle Times

Writing for the 7-2 majority of the Washington Supreme Court, Justice Mary Fairhurst explained that the Washington Law Against Discrimination applied to obesity because the condition “is recognized by the medical community as a ‘physiological disorder.’” The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit asked for the opinion as part of its review of Casey Taylor v. Burlington No. R.R. Holdings.

Heat Bonuses Offered to Waste Management Workers in Norfolk, Va., Virginian-Pilot

Low pay, frequent truck breakdowns, high numbers of serious on-the-job injuries and a requirement that technicians hold valid commercial driver’s licenses combine to make recruiting and retaining garbage collectors difficult. The city hopes that a recent policy change that allows workers to qualify for promotions and raises more quickly will lower quit rates.

Survey: Employees Report Doing Their Best Work on Mondays, Before Noon, Accountemps

Among 2,800 U.S. workers across 28 cities, just 11 percent said they feel most productive on Fridays. Respondents younger than 34 expressed preferences for working in open-plan offices (38 percent) and for telecommuting (36 percent).

U.S. Health System Covers 90%, AP

Reflecting ACA mandates, larger numbers of people aging into Medicare and states expanding Medicaid, only 1-in-10 Americans now lacks health care coverage. Underinsurance, high out-of-pocket costs and medical debt remain serious concerns.

Arlington, Texas, Wins Storytelling Award for Government, Government Technology

Results for America recognized the Dallas-area municipality with the inaugural Sharman Stein Award for Storytelling Changemakers for its use of social media and a dedicated news site to engage and inform residents.

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