- Published: July 23, 2021
This week, PASS joined with the Federal Workers Alliance in sending a letter to House leaders in support of the bipartisan ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act.
In 2018, the Trump administration issued an executive order (EO) that removed federal administrative law judges (ALJs) from the competitive service, in addition to turning over to political appointees the previously nonpartisan ALJ hiring and vetting process conducted by the Office of Personnel Management.
The overwhelming majority of federal ALJs work at the Social Security Administration and hear disability determination cases. About 30 work at the National Labor Relations Board, hearing cases on such issues as protected union activities, discrimination and unfair labor practice claims. The letter, sent to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), chair of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, said the EO opened the door “to the politicization of the federal ALJ corps, thereby threatening the due process protections of those citizens that appear before federal ALJs.”
“This is not an issue that directly impacts the employees that our union represents,” said PASS National President Mike Perrone. “But it is imperative that PASS lends its support to other federal workers who stand to lose their job protections.”
The letter was signed by 24 unions and the legislation passed out of committee two days later. “Any attempt to politicize the federal workforce needs to defeated and being a part of the Federal Workers Alliance gives PASS the opportunity to support our brothers and sisters at other agencies,” said President Perrone.