By “Just a Bill” Wiley, January 17, 2018
OK, Kiddies, here’s how government really works, and you won’t find a schematic of this in the back of your high school civics textbook (e.g., “I’m Just a Bill”).
- Way back in 2013, OPM granted an exemption to the requirements of Obamacare to members of Congress.
- A Senator thought that OPM’s actions were unjust, and demanded that OPM produce documents to support how it made the decision to grant the exemption.
- OPM did not comply. For years.
- In 2017, the White House nominated a new director of OPM, to replace the acting director.
- The disappointed Senator, seeing an opportunity to get the information he had been waiting on for since 2013, placed a hold on the OPM director’s nomination.
- About the same time, the White House decided that our great country had too many federal regulations. Therefore, it placed a semi-freeze on the issuance of new regulations by agencies. Agencies that don’t happen to have a current politically-appointed head in place had better be darned careful about issuing ANY new regulations by an acting director.
- Also about the same time, the statutory deadline for OPM to issue new regulations implementing the Notice Leave provisions of the Administrative Leave Act of 2016 came and went in September 2017.
- Those new regulations, if implemented properly by OPM, will allow agencies to get potentially dangerous employees out of the workplace during the 30-day notice period of a proposed termination, thereby limiting their ability to kill people.
Which brings us to your children (or to the children you might conceivably have some day). A number of agencies have mistakenly concluded that Notice Leave cannot be used until OPM issues implementing regulations. Of course, that is wrong. As every student learns in that high school civics class we talked about earlier, a bill becomes a law when signed by the President. The effective date of the new law is NOT delayed until regulations are issued, unless the law itself so states. And the Administrative Leave Act of 2016 did not delay its implementation. Therefore, agencies have had the authority to use Notice Leave to get dangerous people out of the workplace since the President’s signing of the bill over a year ago.
Unfortunately, you might work in one of those agencies that has not implemented Notice Leave because OPM has not yet issued the regulations it was required by law to issue no later than September. If that is the case, and you are keeping bad employees in the workplace during the 30-day notice period of a proposed removal, you are exposing yourself unnecessarily to a potential 30 days of violent behavior. In our great country, violent behavior sometimes involves guns, explosives, and death.
You can tell we feel strongly about this here at FELTG. We want everybody’s children to have a mom and dad to grow up with, to teach them how to live, and how to apply for good government jobs when that time comes. If you are the victim of workplace violence caused by your agency’s failure to implement Notice Leave (because we don’t have OPM regulations, because we don’t have an OPM director, because OPM granted an exemption to Congress relative to Obamacare), our heart breaks.
Government is supposed to work. This is not government working. When you get home tonight, be sure to hug someone close to you. Because you just never know when you’ll get the next chance. Wiley@FELTG.com