NTEU Sues Trump Over Schedule F Executive Order

October 28, 2020 7:55 AM
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The National Treasury Employees Union has filed a lawsuit against President Trump over his recent Executive Order to establish a new class of federal employees which would not have the usual array of appeal rights applicable to most federal employees.

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and names as defendants President Trump and Michael Rigas, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management.

The lawsuit asks the court to declare the order unlawful and prevent the administration from implementing it.  

“It is shocking that after four years, the Trump administration still doesn’t understand that the United States expressly rejected a spoils system 137 years ago because it was ripe for corruption,” NTEU National President Tony Reardon said in a statement. “As with previous Trump executive orders and our legal challenges to them, we intend to remind this administration that the taxpayers are better served by federal employees who swear an oath to the Constitution, not a president.”

Ever since it was issued, the Executive Order has received a fervent response from interested parties in the federal community. In addition to the lawsuit, legislation was introduced in Congress this week to nullify the Executive Order.

The Office of Personnel Management recently issued guidance to agencies on implementing the Executive Order. Agencies are going to be given considerable discretion in placing employees into Schedule F, but they must provide a written rationale for placing a federal employee’s job into the new Schedule. It is unclear how many federal employees would potentially be impacted by the Executive Order.

The reality is that the Executive Order will become an election issue in the sense that if President Trump is reelected, it has a greater potential to move forward. If Joe Biden is elected, the Executive Order would most likely be revoked.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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