Trump to sign VA bill to protect whistleblowers, expedite firing of problem workers
June 23, 2017
"President Trump is scheduled to sign legislation Friday designed to protect whistleblowers while making it easier to fire problem employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"The 'VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017' makes permanent an office created by a Trump executive order earlier this year to look into claims made by whistleblowers and to protect them from retaliation.
"It … shortens the timeframes allowed for employee appeals of disciplinary actions and mandates that courts reviewing the actions uphold them if there is 'substantial evidence' they are warranted.
"'The administration is committed to ensuring the nation’s veterans have access to the care, services, and benefits they have earned,' the White House said … 'To achieve this goal, it is critical that employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are held to the highest performance standards, and that they are accountable when those standards are not met.'
"The bill … would allow the VA to take back bonuses paid to employees found guilty of misconduct and would prohibit employees who are appealing discipline from being placed on paid administrative leave."
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