VA Accountability Act Promises Faster, Easier Removal of Problem Employees | Law Firm Newswire

VA Accountability Act Promises Faster, Easier Removal of Problem Employees

Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve.

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) August 7, 2017 - President Trump recently signed legislation that provides the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with more power to remove employees for misconduct. It also enhances whistleblower protections.

Trump said that the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act ensures “the scandal we suffered so recently never, ever happens again.” He was referring to the secret waiting lists discovered in 2014 that led to veterans dying while awaiting appointments at VA hospitals nationwide.

“The new VA Accountability Act is a positive step for a department seeking to change its culture and align itself with the goal of providing our veterans with the best in care and services,” commented Jim Fausone, a Michigan veterans attorney. “The law tackles corruption and incompetence by rooting out problem employees who are not committed to the VA’s mission. However, the changes will not take place overnight.”

The new accountability measure gives VA Secretary David Shulkin the authority to discipline or fire senior executives through a 21-day internal department grievance. They will no longer have the right to request a neutral, third-party review as is available to other federal employees. Shulkin will be responsible for charging them with an offense, determining the sentence and hearing employee appeals.

The VA secretary will also be allowed to recoup bonuses from workers in cases that involve wrongdoing. In addition, the VA Accountability Act shortens due process for employees and requires less evidence to launch disciplinary action against them. According to department officials, removing an employee accused of wrongdoing currently takes an average of 51 days. The new law is likely to expedite the disciplinary process by cutting the notice period from 30 days to 10 days.

The legislation encountered disapproval from unions that represent VA workers. They cautioned that it could give rise to worker retaliation. However, veterans’ organizations and other supporters pointed out that the new law is not simply punitive. It also includes protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the VA.

Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800

  • Surveillance of Social Media Postings
    Social media is like a personal diary, holding the privacies of daily life that people may believe is private information. In reality, this personal information is readily available for public consumption. Employers engage in this surveillance practice all the time, so it is only logical that the VA, Social Security Administration, or other entities would […]
  • Virtual VA Examinations Become the New Norm During the Pandemic
    Kendall Van Ameyde, Esq. Just a month ago, veterans were being forced to attend Compensation and Pension (C&P) examinations, placing themselves and their families at risk during a global pandemic. The C&P examination is often conducted after the veteran files for disability and compensation or pension benefits with the VA. The C&P examination helps the […]
  • VA Expands Access to Veterans’ Healthcare Data on Mobile Devices
    The VA continues its effort to expand its electronic presence during this coronavirus pandemic while not only increasing telehealth services that remotely connect veterans to their healthcare providers from the safety of their own home, but by making it easier for veterans to take control of their health care in the palm of their hands. […]
  • Protecting Yourself From Coronavirus Scams
    In such uncertain times, everyone has a lot to worry about. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new and rapidly evolving health guidelines, social rules, daily routines and, unfortunately, opportunities for scammers to steal in new ways. Because vigilance is the best defense against scams, beware of coronavirus scams and learn how to protect yourself and […]



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required