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JWV Welcomes Greater Accountability for VA Employees

The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 (S. 1094) was signed on June 23, 2017 to the great relief of many veterans who have suffered due to negligent VA employees and practices. This bill, nicknamed the “You’re Fired” bill, allows managers to fire employees with less evidence and it shortens the appeals process.

This bill was in response to the 2014 VA Scandal, where veterans died waiting for care at the Phoenix VA medical center. JWV quickly took up action on this issue, and we have been raising awareness on the issue ever since. This year, Carl Singer included this legislation in JWV’s 2017 Legislative Priorities.

Before this bill was passed, the odds of a federal employee being fired were about one to five hundred. VA employees had unfathomable job security due to complicated laws, bureaucracy and well-funded lobbying groups. According to the VA, it used to take up to 275 days to discipline a nurse charged with operating on a veteran drunk – a charge that would immediately get an employee fired in the civilian sector.

“There is nothing more demoralizing than being in an organization, working alongside people that everybody knows no longer shares the values, the morals (and) the ethics of the vast majority of people who go to work every day for the right reasons,” said VA Secretary Shulkin.

“When I was giving testimony in March, I spoke with Congressman Walz about this bill. He said that they were making efforts on this piece of legislation. I am glad that it has come to fruition,” said National Commander COL Carl Singer. JWV welcomes this legislation, and we hope that it brings positive changes for our veterans in need of care.

Please enter your short bio text and copyright clause here (for the "About The Author" box) Anna Selman is JWV's Programs and Public Relations Coordinator.
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