Panel Deals Major Blow to Trump's Signature Civil Service Reform, Calls for Rehiring of Fired Workers

Government Executive: The Trump administration was dealt a blow by a labor panel on Monday, which ruled the Veterans Affairs Department violated a contract with one of its employee unions as it sought to quickly dismiss poorly performing workers.

The Federal Labor Relations Authority decision in part unwinds VA’s implementation of the 2017 VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, a law that made it easier to fire employees. President Trump has repeatedly highlighted the act as one of the key legislative accomplishments of his term. FLRA upheld a 2018 arbitrator’s ruling, which found VA violated its collective bargaining agreement with the American Federation of Government Employees when it eliminated “performance improvement plans” from the pre-disciplinary process. Monday’s decision requires VA to reinstate all employees fired without first being provided such a plan.

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