Legislation Introduced to Limit Administrative Leave for Federal Employees Accused of Misconduct

One Congressman wants to put an end to what he calls the “frivolous use” of paid administrative leave for federal employees accused of misconduct.

Legislation was recently introduced in the House that is designed to eliminate the “frivolous use” of paid administrative leave for federal employees who have been accused of misconduct.

Known as the No Work, No Pay Act of 2016 (H.R. 4953), the bill is being introduced by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) as part of his “Shrink our Spending Initiative,” an effort designed to highlight and cut wasteful spending in the federal government.

Salmon cites a recent Government Accountability Office report which said that over 57,000 federal employees were on leave for a month or more as need for the legislation. Consequently, Salmon’s bill would prevent any federal employee from being placed on administrative leave for more than 30 days for performance related reasons.

One exception would be for whistleblowers – according to the language of the legislation, “any employee seeking corrective action for a prohibited personnel practice” may be placed on administrative leave for up to 365 consecutive days.

Salmon says addressing this issue would save as much as $775 million over three years.

In a statement, Salmon said, “If a private sector worker is accused of misconduct, they are dealt with appropriately by their employer. This is what Americans expect; fair and just consequences for bad performance. As of today, ‘administrative leave’ is not defined in federal law and, as a consequence, many government workers accused of misconduct collect millions of dollars from the federal government in pay when they are removed from service until the conclusion of an investigation. Tax dollars aren’t supposed be used as a slush fund for the vacations of delinquent bureaucrats. We’ll end that practice with this bill.”

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.