By Michael Rhoads, February 10, 2021

Winter has made its presence known this year. Here in the Northeast, my friends and family have had the pleasure of receiving more snow in one storm than we have in the past two years combined. President Biden has also made his presence known with a flurry of Executive Orders.

The Executive Order has been the tool for the past few presidents to achieve political goals without having to go to Congress for approval. At the beginning of any new administration, changes via Executive Order can be expected.

Last month, I took a stab at forecasting how some of the Trump Administration’s Executive Orders would fare in the Biden Administration, so here’s and update on how some of those predictions played out.

Labor Relations

As predicted, EOs 13836, 13837, & 13839 – the Trump Administration’s orders affecting Labor Relations – were rescinded. However, agencies are taking a cautious approach to implementing the Biden Administration’s EO and are waiting for further instruction before proceeding. FELTG will have courses throughout the year to help you navigate any labor relations changes, but our FLRA Law Week, May 10 – May 14 will give you the most comprehensive review.

Schedule F

My initial read on Schedule F was it might survive, even if only in part.  However, Schedule F was rescinded by the Biden Administration via Executive Order. According to Erich Wagner, no agency was able to re-classify employees into Schedule F, but agencies will have to assess whether or not political appointees may have “burrowed in” to civil service positions.

In addition to the Executive action, a bi-partisan bill has also been proposed in Congress which would prohibit any future actions implementing anything similar to Schedule F. The Preventing a Patronage System Act seeks “to impose limits on excepting competitive service positions from the competitive service, and for other purposes.” The bill also seeks to keep any positions from being moved out of schedules A – E as they were defined on Sept. 30, 2020.

To learn more about the most recent Executive Orders and how to implement them, join Deb Hopkins and Ann Boehm on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 2:30 pm ET for Changing Course: Understanding the Biden Executive Order on Labor Relations, Performance, Discipline, and Schedule F.

As always, stay safe, and remember, we’re all in the together. [email protected]

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