House Panel to Continue Scrutiny of LWOP for Political Reasons

The chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is continuing to press the issue of federal employees taking leave without pay for politically related purposes in the wake of investigations by the Office of Special Counsel and the IG of the Postal Service into that practice at USPS.

The probes, the subject of an earlier Senate hearing, found that the Hatch Act had been violated when top postal management agreed to a union’s request to allow some employees to take extended time off for that purpose during last year’s campaigns, overriding local managers’ concerns about the impact on the workflow. No disciplinary actions were recommended, although USPS said it would tighten its policies on what has been a long-standing practice of granting such leave.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., most recently asked the IG’s office to provide complete files of both investigations for his committee’s own probe into the “procedures by which federal employees request LWOP, and by which managers and supervisors consider these requests.”