The nation’s leading federal salary adviser Ronald Sanders has stepped down following a recent order from Donald Trump that would remove employment protections for federal employees.
Like most Trump decisions, Wednesday’s order has been heavily criticized. Under the new order, many federal workers will be converted to “at will” employees. Despite having worked under both parties, Sanders decided that he wanted no parts of this latest policy that “seeks to make loyalty to him the litmus test for many thousands of career civil servants.”
“It is clear that its stated purpose notwithstanding, the executive order is nothing more than a smokescreen for what is clearly an attempt to require the political loyalty of those who advise the president, or failing that, to enable their removal with little if any due process,” Sanders wrote. He added, “I simply cannot be part of an administration that seeks to do so … to replace apolitical expertise with political obeisance. Career federal employees are legally and duty-bound to be nonpartisan; they take an oath to preserve and protect our Constitution and the rule of law…not to be loyal to a particular president or administration.”
Trump’s latest policy could potentially allow for firing of federal employees who do not fully agree with his administration. It also relaxes restrictions surrounding the competitive hiring process. This means that certain employees could be hired without having necessary experience. The policy makes it easier for employees to be fired for performance reasons without being given the chance to contest the firing.
Despite the critics, Trump said that his new order will allow agencies “the flexibility to expeditiously remove poorly performing employees from these positions without facing extensive delays or litigation.”