Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mitigating Insider Threats in Virtual & Cloud Environments
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Is discrimination to blame for employees' sinking satisfaction with training opportunities?
Monday - 3/17/2014, 10:47am EDT
Only about half of federal workers surveyed by the Office of Personnel Management indicated they were satisfied with the training opportunities they received on the job.
Conventional wisdom points to the declining agency budget and the deep cuts to training budgets resulting from the across-the-board sequestration cuts.
But budget cuts, alone, can't explain employees' sinking satisfaction with training, according to a new analysis prepared by the Tully Rinckey law firm in Washington, D.C., which specializes in federal employment law.
"The reality is that when there's fewer and fewer dollars available to allocate toward employee training, federal employees are perceiving, at least, that those scarcer training opportunities are being provided to employees based upon prohibited personnel practice reasons," said John Mahoney, chairman of the firm's labor and employment practice group.
In other words, discrimination by managers in training opportunities could also be helping to fuel employee dissatisfaction, he said.
In fact, as dissatisfaction with training opportunities has intensified in recent years, the number of Equal Employment Opportunity complaints alleging discrimination in training opportunities has also shot upwards, according to the firm's analysis.
(Story continues below chart)
Source: Tully Rinckey
More employees are also reporting that managers have withheld "career enhancing" training opportunities as punishment for reporting agency misconduct.
Nearly 40 percent of employees alleging whisteblower retaliation in 2010 (the last year for which data is available) said it took the form of a denial of training opportunities, according to a 2011 Merit Systems Protection Board report. That's up from just 19 percent in 1992, according to MSPB.
Whistleblower retaliation is a prohibited personnel practice.
Employees are very attuned to training decisions, Mahoney said.
That's not surprising, since as federal work becomes more specialized and professionalized, training opportunities become key avenues for advancement.
"Obviously, as we've seen as the opportunities for training have gone down, the perception that part of the reason for that is prohibited personnel practice-based has gone up," he said. "So, it is very important that federal agencies, managers and executives within agencies are well-trained that taking or failing to take a training action is just as bad as a disciplinary action for a non-promotion when it comes to prohibited personnel practice law."