OPM Issues First Guidance for EO on Firing Fed Workers

The Office of Personnel Management has begun advising federal agencies on how to implement employment policies created by three presidential executive orders issued at the end of May. The new rules would make it easier to fire workers, limit the activities of union reps and change collective bargaining rules.

Several more guides are promised on July 9, but Guidance for Implementation of Executive Order 13839 - Promoting Accountability and Streamlining Removal Procedures Consistent with Merit System Principles is now available. It lays out general procedures for speeding up the performance improvement and termination process.

Government Executive does caution, however, “It is still not clear how agencies will be expected to implement aspects of the executive order that conflict with existing collective bargaining agreements. Although [OPM Director Jeff] Pon states that the executive orders do not ‘abrogate provisions of existing collective bargaining agreements,’ he insists agencies move to renegotiate CBAs at the ‘earliest date permitted by law.’”

Several members of Congress have asked the White House to rescind the executive orders, and unions have filed at least two federal lawsuits to block implementation.