The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has approved S-1094, the latest in a line of bills targeting appeal rights for VA employees–but which unlike others that have stalled, has substantial bipartisan support.

The bill would: shorten the appeals process for all employees; lower the agency’s burden of proof in supporting its decision; bar the use of paid administrative leave while the appeal is pending, and steer appeals by VA senior executives to a process within the department.


The measure also would: require the VA to evaluate supervisors based on the protection of whistleblowers; make addressing poor performance and misconduct part of a manager’s annual performance plan; allow the department to rescind cash awards or relocation incentives if it later deems them improper for various reasons; reduce the retirement benefits of an SES member convicted of a job-related felony; and require more training of supervisors on civil service rights, use of employee rewards, and addressing poor performance.

Approval of such changes–the department supports the Senate bill and the House already has passed a measure that is largely similar–could set precedent for similar changes across the government.