How Difficult is it to Fire a Federal Employee?

Stephen Gutowski
By Stephen Gutowski | April 1, 2013 | 1:46 PM EDT

Firing government employees is notoriously difficult. But just how difficult? That’s what DC’s Fox 5 set out to answer in a recent report.

“Working for the federal government traditionally meant a trade off, lower salaries but high job security. Today salaries are high and so is job security” said Fox’s Doug McKelway. According to one analysis mentioned in the report the federal government only fired one half of one percent of its workers in 2011. That’s a rate around five times lower than the private sector.

According to Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), there are many federal workers who “are literally paid to do nothing or do not even show up for work”. In a letter to the Office of Personnel Management Coburn says that, between 2001 and 2007, the government lost 9,410 years of work from federal employees who simply don’t show up to work. That’s at least 19.6 million hours.

It’s astonishing the way our government works.

But let’s put it in charge of our health care, student loans, home lending, etc. There’s no way that’ll backfire!