Text: H.R.3257 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/14/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 3257 Introduced in House (IH)]

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115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3257

To provide certain reforms to promote accountability and efficiency in 
               the civil service, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             July 14, 2017

  Mr. Rokita (for himself, Mr. Brat, Mr. Loudermilk, and Mr. Smith of 
  Missouri) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
              Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To provide certain reforms to promote accountability and efficiency in 
               the civil service, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Promote 
Accountability and Government Efficiency Act''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. At-will employment status for new Federal employees.
Sec. 3. Immediate suspension of employees for misconduct or poor 
                            performance.
Sec. 4. Limitation on appeal rights.
Sec. 5. Restriction of pay raises.
Sec. 6. Forfeiture of CSRS or FERS annuity for any employee convicted 
                            of a felony.
Sec. 7. Transfer from Senior Executive Service to General Schedule.
Sec. 8. Limitation on official time and use of Government resources in 
                            carrying out union activities.

SEC. 2. AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUS FOR NEW FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.

    (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any 
employee in the civil service hired on or after the date that is 1 year 
after the date of enactment of this Act shall be hired on an at-will 
basis. Such an employee may be removed or suspended, without notice or 
right to appeal, from service by the head of the agency at which such 
employee is employed for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all.
    (b) Clarification of Employment Protections.--
            (1) In general.--Notwithstanding the requirements of 
        subsection (a) and consistent with paragraph (2), this Act 
        shall not be construed to extinguish or lessen any right or 
        remedy available to any employee or applicant for employment in 
        the civil service covered by subsection (a) under any law 
        listed in paragraph (3).
            (2) Limitation.--No employee or applicant for employment in 
        the civil service may be awarded by any court a remedy 
        (including damages, costs, or attorney fees) under any of the 
        provisions of law listed in paragraph (3) in a dollar amount 
        that, in the aggregate, exceeds $50,000.
            (3) Covered laws.--The provisions of law referenced in 
        paragraphs (1) and (2) are as follows:
                    (A) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 
                U.S.C. 2000e et seq.), prohibiting discrimination on 
                the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national 
                origin.
                    (B) The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 
                1967 (29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.), prohibiting 
                discrimination on the basis of age.
                    (C) The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 
                201 et seq.), prohibiting discrimination on the basis 
                of sex.
                    (D) The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 701 
                et seq.), prohibiting discrimination on the basis of 
                handicapping condition.
                    (E) The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 
                2012 (Public Law 112-199).
                    (F) The provisions of any law, rule, or regulation 
                prohibiting discrimination on the basis of marital 
                status or political affiliation.
                    (G) The Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, 
                in the case of employees of the legislative branch who 
                are subject to such Act.
                    (H) The protections relating to prohibited 
                personnel practices (as that term is defined in section 
                2302 of title 5, United States Code).
                    (I) Any law protecting the employment rights of 
                veterans.
            (4) Collective bargaining.--No collective bargaining unit 
        may be awarded by any court any remedy (including damages, 
        costs, or attorney fees) for any breach of such agreement in an 
        amount that exceeds $10,000 per occurrence, or $300,000 in any 
        given calendar year, whichever is least.
            (5) Enforcement.--To the extent any remedy of damages, 
        costs, or attorney fees are awarded by a court in an amount 
        that is in excess of the limits of this section, the amount 
        awarded in excess shall be rendered null, void, and 
        unenforceable. Efforts by an employee, applicant for 
        employment, or collective bargaining unit or its members or 
        legal counsel to seek to collect in excess of the statutory 
        amounts, or efforts by any member of an agency to award a 
        remedy in excess of these statutory amounts, shall be grounds 
        for immediate separation of the employee or agency personnel, 
        termination of the applicable collective bargaining agreement, 
        and a prohibition on hiring such an applicant for a period of 5 
        years beginning on the date of the collection effort in excess.
    (c) Appeal.--
            (1) In general.--Any employee or applicant for employment 
        who is subject to subsection (a) and who seeks a remedy under 
        any law listed in subsection (b)(2) with respect to an adverse 
        personnel action may appeal under the procedures set forth in 
        title 5, United States Code, including appealing such action to 
        the Merit Systems Protection Board or the Office of the Special 
        Counsel.
            (2) Limitation.--An employee or applicant for employment 
        may appeal an adverse personnel action only to a single agency, 
        and may not thereafter bring any appeal pertaining to such 
        dismissal before any other agency. An employee or applicant for 
        employment who files multiple appeals of an adverse personnel 
        action shall have any remedy for the claim limited to not more 
        than $1,000 in the aggregate (including damages, costs, or 
        attorney fees).
    (d) Application.--This section shall apply with respect to any 
employee hired, or any individual who becomes an applicant for 
employment, on or after the date that is 1 year after the date of 
enactment of this Act.
    (e) Regulations.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this section, each agency or instrumentality of the 
Government to which this section applies shall develop operating 
standards consistent with the requirements of this section, including 
standards with respect to--
            (1) notifying any employee hired on or after the date 
        specified in subsection (a) that such employee is an at-will 
        employee;
            (2) determining which senior positions within such agency 
        or instrumentality have the authority to separate an at-will 
        employee from service; and
            (3) ensuring adequate oversight is in place to ensure that 
        any separation of an at-will employee is not a result of 
        discrimination or other violation of any law listed under 
        subsection (b).
    (f) Regulations.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this section, each agency or instrumentality of the 
Federal Government to which this section applies shall develop 
operating standards consistent with the requirements of this section, 
including standards with respect to--
            (1) notifying any employee hired on or after the date 
        specified in subsection (a) that such employee is an at-will 
        employee;
            (2) determining which senior positions within such agency 
        or instrumentality have the authority to separate an at-will 
        employee from service; and
            (3) ensuring adequate oversight is in place to ensure that 
        any separation of an at-will employee is not a result of 
        discrimination or other violation of any law listed under 
        subsection (b).
    (g) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Civil service.--The term ``civil service'' has the 
        meaning given such term in section 2101 of title 5, United 
        States Code.
            (2) Employee.--The term ``employee'' has the meaning given 
        such term in section 2105 of such title, and includes any 
        officer or employee of the United States Postal Service or the 
        Postal Regulatory Commission.
            (3) Personnel action.--The term ``personnel action'' has 
        the meaning given such term in section 2302(a)(2)(A) of such 
        title.
            (4) Veteran.--The term ``veteran'' has the meaning given 
        that term under section 2108(1) of such title.

SEC. 3. IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION OF EMPLOYEES FOR MISCONDUCT OR POOR 
              PERFORMANCE.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:

     ``SUBCHAPTER VI--IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION FOR MISCONDUCT OR POOR 
                              PERFORMANCE

``Sec. 7551. Definitions
    ``In this subchapter--
            ``(1) the term `employee' has the meaning given such term 
        in section 7501(1) and includes any employee of the United 
        States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission, but 
        does not include any at-will employee (as determined under 
        section 2 of the Promote Accountability and Government 
        Efficiency Act); and
            ``(2) the term `suspend' means the placing of any employee, 
        for misconduct or poor performance, in a temporary status 
        without duties.
``Sec. 7552. Immediate suspension for misconduct or poor performance
    ``(a) Under regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel 
Management, the head of an agency may suspend (with or without pay) an 
employee of such agency if the head determines that the misconduct or 
performance of the employee warrants such suspension. The period of any 
such suspension shall be determined by the head.
    ``(b) An employee who is suspended under subsection (a) is 
entitled, after suspension, to--
            ``(1) a written notice, not later than 10 days after the 
        first day of such suspension, stating the specific reasons for 
        the suspension;
            ``(2) a reasonable time, but not less than 10 days, to 
        answer orally and in writing and to furnish affidavits and 
        other documentary evidence in support of the answer;
            ``(3) be represented by an attorney or other 
        representative; and
            ``(4) a review of the case by the agency head and a written 
        final decision and the specific reasons therefor at the 
        earliest practicable date.
    ``(c) An employee against whom an action is taken under this 
section is entitled to appeal to the merit systems Protection Board 
under section 7701 of this title. During such appeal, the Merit Systems 
Protection Board may not take any action to reinstate the employee to 
the position of employment from which such employee is suspended until 
the date of the final decision of such appeal.
    ``(d) Copies of the notice of proposed action, the answer of the 
employee if written, a summary thereof if made orally, the notice of 
decision and reasons therefor, and any order affecting the suspension, 
together with any supporting material, shall be maintained by the 
agency and shall be furnished to the Merit Systems Protection Board 
upon its request and to the employee affected upon the employee's 
request.
    ``(e) In the case of critical necessity, the head of an agency may 
immediately replace any employee suspended under subsection (a) without 
regard to sections 3309 through 3318.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 75 of 
title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
following:

      ``subchapter vi--immediate suspension for misconduct or poor 
                              performance

``7551. Definitions.
``7552. Immediate suspension for misconduct or poor performance.''.

SEC. 4. LIMITATION ON APPEAL RIGHTS.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an employee (as that 
term is defined in section 2(g)(2)) or applicant for employment may not 
appeal an adverse personnel action to more than 1 agency.

SEC. 5. RESTRICTION OF PAY RAISES.

    (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an 
employee may not receive an increase in annual rate of pay if such 
employee--
            (1) did not receive at least a score of 4 or 5 out of 5 (or 
        an equivalent rating with respect to a performance appraisal 
        system that does provide for such a scoring system) on such 
        employee's latest performance review under the performance 
        appraisal system applicable to such employee; and
            (2) the number of employees receiving a score of 4 out of 5 
        (or an equivalent rating with respect to a performance 
        appraisal system that does provide for such a scoring system) 
        does not exceed 50 percent of all employees in that agency.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall 
submit to Congress a report that contains recommendations for a single-
agency rating system.
    (c) Collective Bargaining Agreements.--
            (1) Application.--The requirements of this section shall 
        apply to any collective bargaining agreement entered into by 
        the head of an agency on or after the date of enactment of this 
        Act.
            (2) Grievance.--In the case of an employee covered by a 
        collective bargaining agreement referred to in paragraph (1), a 
        grievance filed on behalf of such employee that results in an 
        increased performance rating for such employee may not result 
        in an increase in annual rate of pay for such employee.
    (d) Definition.--In this section, the term ``employee'' has the 
meaning given such term in section 2105 of title 5, United States Code, 
and includes any officer or employee of the United States Postal 
Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission.

SEC. 6. FORFEITURE OF CSRS OR FERS ANNUITY FOR ANY EMPLOYEE CONVICTED 
              OF A FELONY.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter II of chapter 83 of title 5, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec. 8323. Forfeiture of annuity for felony conviction
    ``(a)(1) An individual appointed to the service who is not subject 
to the requirements of section 2 of the Promote Accountability and 
Government Efficiency Act may not be paid an annuity or retired pay on 
the basis of the service of the individual which is creditable toward 
the annuity if the individual was finally convicted of a felony 
offense.
    ``(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), the term `felony offense' 
means any felony offense committed by the individual that is related to 
the performance of any position within the service occupied by such 
individual.
    ``(b) An individual who is an at-will employee (as determined under 
section 2 of the Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency Act) 
may not be paid an annuity on the basis of the service of the 
individual which is creditable toward the annuity if the individual was 
finally convicted of a felony offense--
            ``(1) when such individual was performing creditable 
        service (as that term is defined in section 8332 or 8411); or
            ``(2) after such individual has separated from the service, 
        but only if such offense is related to the performance of any 
        position within the Government formerly occupied by such 
        individual.
    ``(c) In this section, the term `finally convicted' has the meaning 
given such term in section 8332(o)(A)(6).''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections of subchapter II of 
chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding after 
the item relating to section 8322 the following new item:

``8323. Forfeiture of annuity for felony conviction.''.

SEC. 7. TRANSFER FROM SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE TO GENERAL SCHEDULE.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter VIII of chapter 33 of title 5, United 
States Code, is amended--
            (1) by redesignating section 3397 as section 3398; and
            (2) by inserting after section 3396 the following:
``Sec. 3397. Transfer to General Schedule positions
    ``(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the head of any 
agency may transfer a covered individual to a position within the 
General Schedule (subchapter III of chapter 53).
    ``(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including the 
requirements of section 3594, any covered individual transferred to a 
General Schedule position under subsection (a) shall, beginning on the 
date of such transfer, receive the annual rate of pay applicable to 
such position.
    ``(c) In this section, the term `covered individual' means an 
individual occupying a senior executive service position who is not an 
at-will employee (as determined under section 2 of the Promote 
Accountability and Government Efficiency Act).''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections of subchapter VIII 
of chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking 
the item relating to section 3397 and inserting the following new item:

``3397. Transfer to General Schedule positions.''.

SEC. 8. LIMITATION ON OFFICIAL TIME AND USE OF GOVERNMENT RESOURCES IN 
              CARRYING OUT UNION ACTIVITIES.

    (a) In General.--Section 7131 of title 5, United States Code, is 
amended to read as follows:
``Sec. 7131. Limitation on official time
    ``(a) In carrying out any activities relating to the internal 
business of a labor organization (including the solicitation of 
membership, elections of labor organization officials, and collection 
of dues), an employee may not--
            ``(1) perform such activities unless such employee is in a 
        non-duty status; or
            ``(2) use any Government property (including office space 
        or computers).
    ``(b) Employees engaging in such activities must truthfully and 
accurately account for their time spent in carrying out such 
activities, and may not engage in any political activities that may 
impact such employee's Agency.
    ``(c) Documents, communications and things prepared by or in the 
possession of employees engaged in any activity relating to a labor 
organization that is engaged in collective bargaining activities with 
said employee's Agency shall maintain the records of such activities 
for a period of at least two years or the term of the collective 
bargaining agreement, plus six months, and produce copies of such 
records in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 71 of 
title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating 
to section 7131 and inserting the following new item:

``7131. Limitation on official time.''.
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