Topic: Government Sources
by Alex Carli
Harvard School of Public Health
The threshold for firing uncooperative and lazy employees within the federal government is so high that termination is nearly impossible. Even some administrators whom I know at the uppermost levels of the federal government agree with my sentiments. The quality of the federal workforce needs to be maintained by keeping employees more accountable for their actions. In order to encourage accountability, supervisors need to be able to warn, demote, and even remove employees based on overtly dysfunctional behavior.
Optional Comments on the Problem
During the 7 years in which I conducted bench science within a federal agency’s laboratory, it became clear among several of my fellow workers (including my supervisor) and I that there were some employees who refused to work beyond a bare minimum and often failed to or refused to fulfill their duties. They also regularly bred contempt and generated drama within the research team. These employees were coddled regularly in major part because their removal from the laboratory would only result in them being placed in another lab and no replacement would be hired to fill the new vacancy. This individual’s torpitude and defiance diminished morale in the laboratory and, surely, federal employees like this collectively cost the government billions in research dollars annually.