In light of the election results, federal employee organizations are urging the Trump administration to stop work on two recent initiatives on federal employees, one involving training and the other to move policy-related positions into a new category of the excepted service.
In the former, agencies were told to compile materials used in employee training—performed either directly by the agency or by contractors—and send them to OPM for it to review whether those materials violated a recent executive order’s ban on what it called race- or gender-based stereotyping or scapegoating. That has largely suspended diversity and inclusiveness type training government-wide.
In the latter, agencies were told to compile lists of positions involved with making, implementing or advocating for policy or that involve confidential advice to senior leaders, and similarly send them to OPM—which in turn would designate them as falling under a new excepted service Schedule F. That could involve tens of thousands or more employees who then would lack appeal rights and union representation rights.
The Biden team has not specifically addressed either order, but before the election his campaign said he would eliminate several prior Trump administration orders restricting union rights, leading to a view that he would cancel the two more recent ones, as well.
Regarding the Schedule F order, for example, the NTEU union said that “federal agencies have important work to do and it makes no sense to focus on a task that we anticipate would be immediately reversed by the incoming administration.” And one of the first policy statements the Biden transition team released stressed a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness in the government.
However, there has been no indication from the Trump administration, which continues to challenge the election results, that agencies should stop work on either initiative.