By Deborah Hopkins, May 21, 2019
    A lot has happened over the last few weeks as it pertains to the world of federal employment law. Here’s a recap, in case you missed anything.
    • MSPB: We finally have a third nominee for the MSPB. Chad Bungard was recently nominated by the President to be the Vice Chairman, for a term that expires in 2025. Among other positions, he previously served as General Counsel at MSPB for several years. As of today, there is no date for a committee vote on his nomination. When might we see the Board back at full capacity? Your guess is a good as ours.
    • Executive Orders: In early April, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in the case dealing with the legality of President Trump’s Executive Orders issued May 25, 2018. Most of the discussion dealt with jurisdictional issues and whether the court, or the FLRA, is the proper forum to discuss challenges to these EOs.
    • FLRA: Speaking of labor relations, the General Counsel seat at the FLRA has been empty for two years, but the President nominated Catherine Bird, who is currently Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration (ASA) at the Department of Health and Human Services.
    • EEOC: The EEOC has a quorum for the first time since January – and it has a new Chair as well. On May 15, nearly two years after she was first nominated, Janet Dhillon was sworn in as the EEOC’s 16th Chair for a term that expires July 1, 2022.
    • OPM: The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs recently voted to advance OPM Director nominee Dale Cabaniss to the Senate for a confirmation vote. If confirmed she will be the third person to hold this position in just over two years.
    • OPM’s demise: Last week, the administration unveiled the Administrative Services Merger Act, which would effectively eliminate OPM by reorganizing it into a subcomponent of GSA. Under the proposed structure, the person in charge of federal workforce policy would be a non-Senate-confirmed political appointee. As you can imagine, not everyone is happy about this potential change. Because this is a piece of proposed legislation, both the House and Senate will have to agree in order for it to be signed into law by the President.
    • LGBTQ employment protections: A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court agreed to look at whether Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination includes an employee’s LGBTQ status. Arguments are on the docket this fall. Also, last week the House passed the Equality Act, which among other things would make protections for LGBTQ federal employees a statutory right. The Senate and the President would need to sign off on this piece of legislation in order for it to become law.
    As you can see, there is a lot going on, and plenty more to come. Stick with FELTG and we’ll keep you posted. Hopkins@FELTG.com

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