New Bill Proposes to Ban Bonuses for Certain Federal Employees

In July, the Senate reintroduced a bill that would prohibit federal agencies from handing out bonuses to federal employees who have been cited for conduct violations. Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) reintroduced the Stop Improper Bonuses Act, which also contains a requirement that would force employees who engage in serious misconduct to repay their bonuses.

According to the terms of the Stop Improper Bonuses Act, federal agencies would be barred from paying bonuses to federal employees for five years after the end of a fiscal year in which the agency discovers an “adverse finding.” Workplace violations that could result in an employee being fired or suspended for at least 14 days are considered adverse findings, as well as convictions for a crime that results in imprisonment for more than a year.

Senator Fischer says the bill was created to “help ensure we are using taxpayer dollars in a wise and responsible manner.” To support her legislation, Fischer called attention to a 2018 Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report. The reports shows that between October 2015 and December 2016, the IRS issued more than $1.7 million in bonuses to 1,962 employees who had been cited for disciplinary or adverse actions.

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