Federal employee union sues over Trump civil service executive order

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The National Treasury Employees Union filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to strike down an executive order by President Donald Trump that the union says will strip civil service and due process protections from certain policy-making federal workers.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in the D.C. district court, argues that Trump’s order last week will “radically reshape the civil service by drastically increasing the number and type of employees who are subject to dismissal without adverse action rights.”

Critics fear the change would make it easier to remove policy experts and career civil servants who do not agree with the administration’s policies.

Trump’s order would reclassify some workers “in positions of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character” into a new category that is exempt from protections that apply to most federal workers — allowing agencies to hire and terminate them more quickly.

The move prompted Federal Salary Council Chair Ron Sanders, a Trump appointee, to resign Monday in protest, warning that the order was “clearly an attempt to require the political loyalty of those who advise the President.”

The NTEU, which represents 150,000 federal government employees, says Trump exceeded his authority under the merit-based rules for how federal workers are chosen for government positions, which only allow the president to exclude certain positions when “necessary” and “as conditions of good administration warrant.”

What’s next? Agencies are required to place workers in policy-making decisions under the new category called Schedule F by Jan. 19, the day before the presidential inauguration.

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