New Federal Employees Could Be Fired for ‘No Cause at All’ by Trump Under Planned Legislation

Labor News

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in New York on Wednesday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Reprinted from The Washington Post by Joe Davidson on January 12, 2017.

A range of Republican proposals on federal hiring, firing and retiring will have them under fire during the Trump administration. One flying under the radar poses a fundamental threat to the purpose of the civil service. It would essentially dispose of federal employee due process rights.

Representative Todd Rokita (R-Indiana) considers his bill “a tool for … President [-elect Donald] Trump to use in draining the swamp.” In the process, it would eviscerate civil service protections for all new federal employees. His deceptively named “Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency Act” says staffers hired one year after enactment or later “shall be hired on an at-will basis.” …

“Instead of encouraging front-line workers to report mismanagement or wasteful spending, this bill would create an environment where employees are fearful of doing or saying anything that could get them fired,” writes J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees. …

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Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at

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