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Eric Katz

Senior Correspondent Eric Katz writes about federal agency operations and management. His deep coverage of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Postal Service has earned him frequent guest spots on national radio and television news programs. Eric joined Government Executive in the summer of 2012 and previously worked for The Financial Times. He is a graduate of The George Washington University.
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Trump’s Nominee for Employee Protection Board Has Checkered Past With Protecting Employees

March 9, 2018 In 2015, a federal court awarded a Social Security Administration employee more than $200,000 to cover attorney fees and other costs associated with the employee’s wrongful termination and ensuing legal battles. In issuing the ruling, Richard Matsch, a senior judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado,...

Political Pressure and Confusion Marked Interior’s Reassignment of Career Execs, Internal Docs Show

March 9, 2018 The Interior Department’s reassignment of a large swath of its top career employees sparked confusion and pushback, recently released internal emails show, prompting some executives to quit and others to question the wisdom of the forced transfers. The decision to require roughly three-dozen Senior Executive Service employees to take on...

'Culture of Complacency:' Investigators Fault VA Leadership for Medical Facility's 'Systemic' Failures

March 7, 2018 Widespread, systemic failures at a Veterans Affairs Department medical facility in Washington, D.C., persisted for years, according to a scathing new watchdog report, despite managers throughout the agency knowing about the problems. VA leaders at multiple levels failed to address a series of issues that put veterans’ health at risk...

With Board Hamstrung, Federal Employee Appeals Backlog Grows to Largest Ever Total

March 6, 2018 The backlog of employees challenging their firings, suspensions and other negative actions reached an all time high last year, as a lack of political appointees at the quasi-judicial agency with oversight of the appeals process has blocked the agency from conducting its normal activities. The backlog of cases before the...

Trump Administration Plans to Slash Labor Relations Board, Consolidate Power

March 5, 2018 The Trump administration is looking to undermine the fundamental mission of the National Labor Relations Board, according to several employee and outside groups, who are objecting to cuts and a proposed reorganization of the agency. Proposals from NLRB officials appointed by President Trump would seek to centralize functions currently performed...

Navy Follows Through on Firing Employee After Failing for 4 Years to Accommodate Her Disability

March 2, 2018 The Navy fired a civilian employee this week after a years-long struggle to accommodate her disability, citing her medical condition as the reason for her termination. Government Executive profiled Dawn Dunphy in November, detailing her battle with the Navy, the manufacturer of the speech-assistance software she was promised when the...

The Federal Government Has Gotten Slower at Hiring New Employees for 5 Consecutive Years

March 1, 2018 After a few years in which the federal government dramatically decreased the average time it takes to bring on new employees, hiring times have steadily crept back up. Agencies have taken longer to recruit and onboard workers in each of the last five years. The governmentwide average time to hire...

Key GOP Senator Calls Trump's Pay Freeze Plan Ill-Advised

March 1, 2018 A key Republican senator responsible for oversight of the federal workforce said on Thursday President Trump’s proposed 2019 federal pay freeze would be harmful to agencies looking to retain quality employees and recruit new ones, throwing cold water on a policy the White House suggested in its recent budget blueprint....

Congressman Wants List of Employees Deemed 'Non-Essential' During Shutdown

February 28, 2018 The White House should maintain a detailed list of the roughly 40 percent of federal employees who are furloughed during a shutdown, a Republican lawmaker proposed in a new bill, saying increasing transparency surrounding those workers would help reduce the “bloated bureaucracy.” The Essential Act (H.R. 5091), introduced by Rep....

House Democrats Request Subpoena Over Interior's Senior Executive Reassignments

February 28, 2018 The top House Democrat with oversight of the federal workforce requested a subpoena of documents related to the reassignment of dozens of senior executives at the Interior Department, saying the Trump administration has so far stymied efforts to bring transparency to the decisions. Interior sent 176 pages of documents to...