The Labor & Employment Blog is a forum for practitioners and Bloomberg BNA editors to share ideas, raise issues, and network with colleagues.
May 8, 2013
by Louis C. LaBrecque
Federal employees in many agencies are facing furloughs--or the possibility of furloughs--in fiscal year 2013 due to sequestration. What's ahead in FY 2014?
April 24, 2013
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board during a joint meeting with its Employee Thrift Advisory Council, which represents federal employee unions and managers' groups, explored the idea of changing to a new default fund in the Thrift Savings Plan.
April 16, 2013
President Obama in his fiscal year 2014 budget request proposed a 1 percent pay increase for federal employees, but also called on federal workers hired prior to Jan. 1, 2013, to contribute an additional 1.2 percent of their salaries toward their retirements.
March 29, 2013
Federal government employees with "seriously delinquent tax debt" could be fired by their agencies and federal job applicants forced to withdraw their applications under legislation (H.R. 249) approved by voice vote March 20 by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
March 15, 2013
Unionized employees at Labor Department agencies have received notices regarding the number of proposed furlough days their agency expects them to take during the remainder of fiscal year 2013, with the number of proposed days varying widely by agency.
February 27, 2013
The National Treasury Employees Union is expecting federal agencies to bargain over the impact and implementation of sequestration if the across-the-board federal spending cuts begin as expected March 1, NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley said Feb. 26 during the union's annual legislative conference.
February 15, 2013
by Amber McKinney
What are the top ten issues labor and employment practitioners should watch for in 2013? Let's take a look at the first five.
February 14, 2013
The House is preparing to vote as early as Feb. 15 on legislation (H.R. 273) that would freeze federal pay for the remainder of calendar year 2013.
January 30, 2013
The Federal Labor Relations Authority is currently operating with one member, Ernest DuBester, who is now the authority's chairman, FLRA said in an undated posting on its website, explaining that the authority cannot issue final decisions without a quorum of at least two members.
January 17, 2013
In case federal employees did not have enough to worry about already, a Jan. 14 memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget calls on federal agency heads to prepare for possible budget cuts due to sequestration or the expiration of the six-month continuing resolution currently funding the government by considering hiring freezes, early retirement incentives, and furloughs.
January 2, 2013
Federal employees may have expected a number of different outcomes to the year-end drama of the fiscal cliff negotiations, but a mere two-month reprieve from the threat of sequestration--the across-the-board cuts to federal agencies called for by the 2011 Budget Control Act if Congress can’t agree on alternative cuts--probably wasn’t one of them.
December 5, 2012
The Office of Personnel Management is asking federal agencies to specify in written agreements with employees who telework that such employees are required to work during emergencies that cause federal offices to close.
November 21, 2012
The political will to make changes to the federal General Schedule pay system may be lacking at a time when the government is facing a difficult budget environment, panelists critical of the GS system agreed during a recent forum on federal pay.
November 7, 2012
Now that the 2012 national elections have been resolved, federal lawmakers' attention will shift to dealing with the so-called fiscal cliff. But Jim Nussle, the former Office of Management and Budget director and long-time House member, believes the "lame-duck" Congress that will return to Washington, D.C., will not be in a strong position to resolve the budget issues necessary to avoid sequestration.
October 24, 2012
Legislation to strengthen whistleblower protections for federal employees has been introduced in both the House and Senate numerous times over the past 13 years, only to be left without final action from Congress. It's all the more surprising, then, that the latest version of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 743) likely will be approved by federal lawmakers before the end of the turbulent 112th Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
October 10, 2012
President Obama in February called for a 0.5 percent pay increase for federal employees to be effective in January 2013. Congress was expected to either approve or block the raise, which was included in the president's proposed budget for fiscal year 2013. But as of now, federal workers are still wondering whether the two-year pay freeze that began in January 2011 will be extended for another year.
September 26, 2012
Is it accurate to call it a "lame duck" session of Congress if that's when the work will get done?
August 29, 2012
The Republican Party's national platform as approved by convention delegates in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 28 calls for a 10 percent reduction in the federal workforce through attrition along with a more performance-oriented federal pay system.
August 15, 2012
When President Obama signed the Budget Control Act in August 2011, ending a congressional standoff over increasing the debt limit, the January 2013 deadline for Congress to agree on a way to reduce the federal budget deficit--and thus avoid the across-the-board cuts to federal agencies called for by the BCA's sequestration process--seemed to be comfortably in the future. But as time runs out for Congress to act, could sequestration really happen?
August 10, 2012
by Patrick Dorrian
Several recent case developments and regulatory actions have brought into sharp focus the difference between anti-bias protections for public employees and those for private-sector workers.
August 1, 2012
You wouldn't know it by looking at the House's schedule, but the U.S. Postal Service is scheduled to default Aug. 1 (as in today) on a federally required $5.5 billion retiree health prefunding payment.
July 18, 2012
If you've been wondering exactly how much money the U.S. Postal Service has been losing lately, go to a website established by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the House Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, and Federal Services, which has oversight over USPS.
July 4, 2012
Mind readers and bicycle building exercises likely will never again be featured at a federal training conference in the wake of the scandal involving the General Services Administration's 2010 Western Regional Conference, where a Las Vegas conference for approximately 300 GSA employees cost more than $822,000.
June 22, 2012
by Michael Rose
While the nation eagerly awaits the Supreme Court's decision any
day now determining the fate of President Obama's health care
overhaul law, other decisions are trickling out, including in one
lower-profile case this week that represents a new element of what
Justice Stephen Breyer, in a dissent, called "an ongoing, intense
public debate" about collective bargaining and union membership in
both the public and private sectors.
June 20, 2012
At a recent event held at the Partnership for Public Service's Washington, D.C., headquarters, representatives of the American Enterprise Institute, the Federal Salary Council, and the Congressional Budget Office offered very different views on whether or not federal employees are paid too much.
June 6, 2012
For an agency with the seemingly humdrum role of helping the federal government with its real estate, space planning, office equipment, and transportation needs, the General Services Administration in recent months seems to be involved in a lot of scandals.
May 23, 2012
Several times during a House subcommittee
hearing last week on overhauling the Hatch Act--which
restricts federal, state, and local government employees' ability
to engage in political activities--Republicans and Democrats on the
panel seemed surprised to be agreeing on the issues.
January 4, 2012
by Victoria Roberts
This week, we published our 2012 Economic Outlook, which finds an economy inching toward recovery. The forecast of the 26 economists at 21 leading financial, consulting, and academic organizations across the United States calls for a small uptick in the jobless rate, as more Americans re-enter the job market to look for work. Wage gains, meanwhile, will remain small.Meanwhile President Obama today announced his intent to recess appoint Sharon Block (D), Terence F. Flynn (R), and Richard Griffin (D) as members of the National Labor Relations Board. As of yesterday, the board had dropped to two members following the expiration of Member Craig Becker's recess appointment. Obama's move tests his authority to bypass the Senate, as Senate Republicans have been holding pro forma sessions during the congressional break in order to head off any recess appointments. Following the president's announcement, Republicans jeered and Democrats cheered, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce denounced the action, and AFL-CIO commended it.
January 3, 2012
by Lydell C. Bridgeford
More co-workers are connecting online through social-networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but that doesn’t mean the company’s sexual harassment policy should be ignored, explains Donna M. Ballman, a labor attorney, who recently spoke with BNA about sexual harassment and social media.
December 27, 2011
by Laura D. Francis
In federal employee news, MSPB's oral argument focuses more on its authority to decide if the Postal Service's violation of its own internal rules also violates federal regulations, rather than the actual answer to that question, while the president and OPM remind federal employees that there still is a pay freeze in effect. On the state and local front, a tentative deal for about 5,000 New Jersey state employees is causing a larger state employee union to question whether it now can negotiate an acceptable contract.
December 2, 2011
Public Sector Roundup: Will Sequestration Continue Into Fiscal Year 2014?
Q&A: When Does an OFCCP Audit Become Litigation Worthy?
Congressional Roundup: Republican Comp Time Bill Gets a Vote
Labor Stats and Facts: Decertifications Are Down, but Unions Shouldn't Celebrate
EEO Roundup: Valuing Employment Discrimination Claims