The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would change the relative value of performance in decisions to lay off Federal employees. The proposed rule, published Dec. 17, would correspondingly deprioritize length of service in layoff decisions, making it the least important factor in the proposed order of retention.
OPM is opening a 30-day comment period for the proposed rule, which follows up on rule changes proposed in a May 2018 Executive Order (EO). OPM implemented policies from the EO in 2018, but they were struck down as unlawful in court.
Currently, performance ranks last in the list of considerations for Federal government Reductions in Force (RIF) – behind tenure, veteran’s preference and length of service. The proposed rule would change the order of considerations to make performance the second most important factor – behind tenure – and bumping length of service to the end of the line.
“The proposed regulations will assist agencies in better aligning, consistent with law, to certain of the principles articulated by the President to the Executive Branch in E.O. 13839 and update current procedures to make them more efficient and effective,” OPM’s rule announcement says.