The new civil service reform law, designed to make it easier to fire incompetents, has a loophole. Unless it is closed, it actually will shorten the time bosses are allowed to bar dangerous or disruptive persons from the office while their dismissal is being processed.
Under the reforms that go into effect next year, federal managers will be allowed to suspend employes for only 14 of the 30 days it takes to notify them of dismissal action. Currently, workers who pose a physical threat to supervisors, fellow employes of U.S. property can be suspended for the full 30-days period.
President Carter's reform plan does eliminate much of the time and red tape required to fire a poor performer. But by cutting the suspension time in half in the case of potentially dangerous workers, Congress and the White House have created a new problem for managers who feel they must keep some employes away from the office.
Unless the Civil Service Commission (soon to become the Office of Personnel Management) comes up with new language on suspension times, federal officials could be forced to allow allegedly dangerous workers to come back to the office halfway through their 30-day notice period. That, obviously, could create some problems, especially where the accused employe had enganged in physical violence, or made threats, to co-workers or the boss.
Insiders expect the time-gap loophole will be closed, either by an administrative change in the regulations or through an executive order from the president keeping the present 30-day suspension language.
CSC brass assigned to the new "work force discipline" section of the reform act are now trying to figure out how to keep the 30-day suspension authority for employes charged with serious disciplinary violations.
Psychiatric Exams, The House Compensation and Employe Benefits subcommittee says federal rules covering fitness for duty examinations should be tightened up to protect employes from being railroaded out of government. Sometimes, when a boss cannot deal with a worker, the boss uses federal machinery to have the worker declared crazy - and retired on disability.
The subcommittee, headed by Rep. Gladys N. Spellman (D-Md.) has been looking into the fitness-for-duty medical exams for some time.It says the government should come up with new guidelines to guarantee that the medical-mental route to retirement is not abused. It is also considering the need for legistlation that would bar all involuntary psychiatric exams in government.
Health Instrance: Federal workers have an open season running from Nov. 13 to Dec. 8 to make changes in health plans or coverage. Employes should study the plans they are eligibale to participate in, and compare rates and benefits with their current health insurance plan.
Attention Paont Dealers: The U.S. Postal Service - with one of the world's largest vehicle fleets - will begin using a new, reflective red-white-and-blue paint job for cars, trucks and Jeeps. First change will be made for 10,000 new jeeps. Later on, older models of the service's 119,000 vehicles will be repainted. That is a lot of paint.
Ken Blaylock of the American Federation of Government Employes is the luncheon speaker Nov. 15 at the Society of Federal Labor Relations Professionals meeting. Place is Hogate's restaurant. Call Neil Fine at 275-2543 for reservations.
Statician: Environmental Protection Agency has a Grade 7 through 11 opening for someone to handle data on automotive recall, emission control and vehicle tampering. Call Barry Nussbum at 755-9394.
Secretary: D. C.'s Transportation Department has a Grade 5 or 6 job. Send applications to the personnel office, Room 411, 415 12th St. N.W.
Architects: The government will begin accepting applications for Grade 4 ($10,507) to GS 13 ($27,453) in that career field from Oct. 30 to Dec. 8. Application information is available at the Federal Job Information Center in the Civil Service Commission building.