The American Federation of Government Employees is suing the Agriculture Department to block implementation of a new poultry inspection system that the union says could result in diseased or tainted poultry being sold to consumers.
Thousands of federal employees are being kept on administrative leave while they await rulings on misconduct, an Oct. 17 Government Accountability Office report says. Over a three years period that the GAO analyzed, more than 57,000 federal workers were place on administrative leave for at least a month.
Employees at the Veterans Affairs Department are less satisfied with their senior executives than they were last year, the VA portion of the 2014 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey says. Though the governmentwide results haven't been released, some agencies are publishing their individual results.
Some temporary and seasonal federal workers will be eligible for health insurance starting in January, says an Oct. 17 Office of Personnel Management final rule. The final rule expands the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program to temporary employees who are scheduled to work at least 130 hours a month and end up working at least 90 days throughout the year.
The Office of Personnel Management is pushing agencies to hire the long-term unemployed. In an Oct. 14 statement, OPM Director Katherine Archuleta said the government must serve as a model for employers and not discriminate against candidates who have been unemployed for more than six months.
Civilian Defense Department employees are increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs with approval ratings dropping in more than half of the categories on the DoD portion of the governmentwide Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey administered by the Office of Personnel Management. Though the full report for all agencies has yet to be released, DoD posted its results (pdf) Tuesday.
In an effort to close skills gaps in the federal science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, workforce, the Office of Personnel Management is encouraging human capital officers to begin using pay flexibilities.
Amid the storm of bad news surrounding the Veterans Affairs Department, the agency says it's chipping away at its disability and pension claims backlog. In fiscal 2014, the VA processed more than 1.3 million decisions on veterans' disability claims, an Oct. 9 VA statement says. That's more than last year's rate by about 150,000 claims.
The Labor Department issued its final rule raising the minimum wage for federal contracting employees to $10.10 per hour, a notice in the Federal Register says. The pay bump, which will effect 10,000 low-wage workers at companies with federal concession agreements, goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015, the notice says.
Agencies are doing a good job of recruiting young workers, but can't seem to keep them around, an Oct. 8 Office of Personnel report says. Millennials, who OPM defines as people born after 1980 say they're happy with their government jobs and would recommend them to their peers, but they only spend about 3.8 years in those jobs on average, the report says.