Questions have arisen, for which there so far is no answer, regarding what will happen with several Trump administration policy initiatives for which implementing rules have been proposed but not yet finalized.
Among them are proposals to: allow term appointments of up to 10 years in certain positions, compared with the current four-year standard which can be doubled in limited circumstances; finalize the move of administrative law judge positions from the competitive service to the excepted service; and narrow the situations in which federal employees are eligible for back pay awards when they win challenges to personnel actions.
Should the administration move quickly to finalize them, a Biden administration likely would then have to go through a formal rule-making process to take them off the books—a process that would take longer than simply overriding executive orders such as the recent ones on training and policy-related positions.
That already is the case with provisions of one of the three key May 2018 executive orders on workplace policies, regarding disciplinary policies, for which rules recently were finalized.
The Trump administration had indicated that it would issue rules to carry out the other two, involving terms that agencies may accept in bargaining including amounts of official time for employees with union roles. Such rules have not even been proposed. However, agencies have been following those policies as contracts have come up for negotiation and a number of finalized contracts now reflect them.
Also still pending as proposed rules are less controversial policies including specifics of changes to administrative leave practices enacted into law several years ago and protections for employees against losing insurance coverage during an extended government shutdown.