On September 17, 2019, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued its final regulations governing probation on initial appointment to a competitive position, performance-based reduction in grade and removal actions, and adverse actions that will go into effect on November 16, 2020.
This final rule builds on to the executive order (E.O) 13839 that was issued in 2018 by President Donald Trump that was aimed to promote accountability and streamlining removal procedures consistent with merit system principles.
The Office of Personnel Management has received significant opposition to this order which is why we are here to help clarify what this order is and how this could affect the future of Federal Disability Retirement.
These new regulations will make it easier for a federal agency to fire an under-performing federal employee. It is made easier because there is a shortened time period in which an employee can improve their performance before an agency recommends disciplinary actions.
There are also set mandatory procedures to discipline supervisors who retaliate against whistleblowers.
Federal disability retirement benefits are available to civilian federal workers, including employees of the U.S. Postal Service, who are disabled by injury or illness and can no longer provide “useful and efficient service” in their current position. However, you must apply for this benefit before you leave your job or within one year from your separation from service.
This is where the new OPM regulations could potentially affect future Federal Disability Retirement claims. Since the process to fire a federal employee will become easier and shorter, the chances of an employee getting fired due to “inefficient performance” would be higher. This may increase the number of terminations due to the process being easier and faster. Additionally, this puts a time limit on when you can apply for Federal Disability Retirement because you must ensure that it is within one year of separation.
However, if the agency removes you due to “inefficient performance” than this result would be helpful to building your Federal Disability Retirement case.
If you are concerned about being fired due to your inability to perform ALL the required duties of your job due to an injury or illness, it may be time to apply for Federal Disability Retirement.
You DO NOT have to be separated to start this process.
Harris Federal Law Firm helps injured federal employees with their representation needs when taking their claims to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). If you are a federal employee and you feel that you may need Federal Disability Retirement assistance give us a call at 859-226-2723 for a FREE Consultation.