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Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and this year’s theme is “America’s Workforce - Empowering All.” As the Nation's largest employer, the Federal Government has a special responsibility to lead by example to include people with disabilities in the workforce, and foster a disability-friendly work culture.

To highlight the achievements of American workers with disabilities, the president released an official proclamation recognizing October as National Disability Awareness Month.

The proclamation states,

[This month], we renew our commitment to creating an environment of opportunity for all Americans and educating people about disability employment issues.

 Earlier this year, the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities reached the lowest rate ever recorded. 

The proclamation highlights steps the administration has taken to addresses disability employment issues, which include “encouraging those with disabilities to engage in the workforce, providing greater opportunities for their involvement, and preventing workplace injuries from occurring,” and describes the administration’s commitment to creating opportunities for Americans with disabilities across the workforce.

OPM is proud to mark 73 years since President Truman approved a Congressional Resolution declaring the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week”. 

In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the program to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).” 

Today, NDEAM celebrates disability inclusion and the contributions made to this country by workers with disabilities. This month, we celebrate what is possible. This month, we also focus on education and awareness – to remind everyone of the value of the skills and talents workers with disabilities bring to communities everywhere. 

OPM’s community of employees with disabilities contributes much to this agency. Please take a moment to learn about this community here: http://theo.opm.gov/FedsWithDisabilities/index.aspx.


Celebrating TR's 160th Birthday

This week, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management celebrates the 160th birthday of the father of today's civil service, Theodore Roosevelt. 

Theodore Roosevelt, also known as Teddy Roosevelt or TR, lived a life of service, accomplishment, and adventure.

Throughout his life, Roosevelt wore many hats: TR served as New York City Police Commissioner, was appointed Assistant U.S. Navy Secretary under President McKinley, and founded the volunteer cavalry known as the Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War. He was also elected Governor of New York and later, President of the United States.

But perhaps most importantly to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Theodore Roosevelt served as U.S. Civil Service Commissioner from 1889 to 1895, where he fought to ensure a federal hiring system rooted in fairness and equal access and protection for all.

As Civil Service Commissioner, he aggressively led efforts to investigate fraud and political abuse in government and expose corrupt government officials.

One week into his job, he recommended the removal of examination board members in New York for selling test questions to the public for $50.

Later, during his tenure as our nation’s 26th President, Roosevelt worked to broaden the scope of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 by establishing a merit-based civil service system.

TR believed civil service reform should be based on three principles:

·       Opportunities should be made equal for all citizens;

·       Only those who have merit should be appointed to federal jobs; and

·       Public servants should not suffer for their political beliefs.

During his administration, President Roosevelt prioritized modernizing the Federal Government. Some of his reforms established the foundation for the modern merit system, including:

·       Position-classification based on duties;

·       The establishment of the modern job survey in Federal Service; and

·       Requirements for stricter compliance of restrictions against political activity by Federal officials.

Evidence of TR’s reforms can still be seen today.

In the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the merit system principles were codified into law, which states,

...to provide the people of the United States with a competent, honest, and productive workforce...and to improve the quality of public service, Federal personnel management should be implemented consistent with merit system principles.

Today, the merit system principles exist as framework for accountability to ensure Federal employees behave responsibility and work toward mission success.  

In 1992, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Washington Headquarters was named the “Theodore Roosevelt Federal Building,” in honor of TR’s contributions and dedication to our civil service system.

This week, we continue to honor Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy and his impact on the modern civil service system by remembering his 160th birthday.

Please be sure to join in the conversation on social media by using #TRFact and #TR160, so that together, we can celebrate and remember Theodore Roosevelt’s service to our country and his lasting impact on our nation’s civil service.  


CFC 2018 - Show You Care!

During this period of seasonal transition between summer fun and the holidays, many of us start to find ourselves indoors a little more than usual.

When that happens, we start to reflect on the year, think about how much we have been given, and we often seek ways to give back.

There are many ways to give. We can give of our time. We can give with money, with gifts, or even with a smile and an open heart.

One thing remains the same for all givers: we share the core belief that connecting and sharing with others is a cornerstone for making this world a better place.

On October 17th, OPM launched its internal Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). For Federal employees, the CFC is a familiar annual fundraising opportunity.

Over the past 56 years, the CFC has raised $8.2 billion to help those in need in the National Capital Region, across the nation, and throughout the world.

Why give through CFC? The CFC is a one-stop-shop organization with an easy to navigate website that automates the process of giving to people in need.

There are thousands of charities on the CFC website to select from, and no doubt, you will find a cause there that you can find some connection to and support, whether it is pet adoption, homelessness, veterans’ causes, or a host of other worthy organizations that could benefit tremendously from your donations.

To give to CFC, you don’t need to give a lot. The minimum financial contribution is $1 per pay period. To give you a comparison, it costs approximately $2, usually more, for one cup of coffee downtown D.C. these days.

Did you know that $1.31 per pay period can feed 100 homeless people? That just goes to show: every little bit that you can give makes a difference.

This year, volunteer hours are also monetized towards our agency goal. So if you would prefer to donate your time, that contribution will make an enormous difference as well.

Our goal at OPM this year is to raise $100,000 through CFC giving. We can absolutely hit this mark with your generosity. Please Show Some Love, and consider exploring the CFC website to select a cause that touches your heart.

To get involved, please visit https://cfcgiving.opm.gov/, where you will be able to create a profile that you can use over and over again. Through the CFC website, you will be able to research charities locally, nationally, or worldwide and make a difference through your contributions to helping others in need.



This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Civil Service Reform Act, which was signed by President Jimmy Carter on October 13, 1978 to bring more efficiency and accountability to the Federal Government.

The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 reorganized the Civil Service Commission, establishing the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Federal Labor Relations Authority in its place. 

The law also modernized the existing Federal personnel system by putting the merit system principles into law, laying out prohibited personnel practices, and establishing the Senior Executive Service.

Upon signing the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, President Carter stated,

Now this bill is law, but this is just the start of a continuing effort to improve the Federal Government’s services to the people.

By itself, the law will not ensure improvement in the system. It provides the tools; the will and determination must come from those who manage the Government.

Following the law’s enactment in 1978, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management assumed the role of chief human resources agency and personnel policy manager for the Federal Workforce.

OPM works with the President, Congress, key stakeholders, and agencies across the Federal Government to implement human capital policies that help Federal agencies meet their strategic goals and achieve agency results.

Today, OPM continues to advance its mission by modernizing and improving our Federal Workforce through the President’s Management Agenda.

The President’s Management Agenda was created to address 21st Century challenges throughout the Federal workforce and drive improved results across all Federal agencies by focusing on achieving mission-driven results, providing excellent service to the public and exercising effective stewardship of taxpayer funds.  

By embracing the reforms outlined by the PMA, OPM will continue to build upon the mission outlined by the Civil Service Reform Act, making our government more efficient, effective and accountable to the American people. 

To learn more, check out this video recapping OPM's Civil Service Reform Act 40th Anniversary event. 


Kathleen McGettigan speaks at Domestic Violence Awareness Walk 2018

Each October, Americans come together to recognize and show solidarity with survivors and victims of domestic abuse as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking (DVSAS) are serious problems that affect individuals, families and communities.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an average of 20 people experience intimate partner violence every minute in the United States.  This leads to more than 10 million abuse victims annually. [1]

Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data reports that more than one in three women and more than one in four men in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

DVSAS is not only a personal issue: it is a workplace issue.  The effects of such violence often do not remain within the confines of a home – they affect all of us who live and work with victims and survivors of domestic violence and their children or other loved ones.

According to CDC data, the effects of DVAS in the workplace cost our nation approximately $8 billion a year in lost productivity and healthcare costs.

Each of us has an obligation to speak up on behalf of those who suffered from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and to advocate on behalf of those victims and survivors.

As the largest employer in the nation, the Federal Government also has a duty to promote the health and safety of its employees by providing support and assistance to those whose working lives are affected by DVSAS.

This year, I was pleased to join OPM’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office, along with Leanne Brotsky of the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, for a 2.3 mile power walk through the Constitution Gardens and around the Lincoln Memorial to raise awareness about domestic violence and remember those survivors and victims who have been affected.

OPM also offers employee assistance programs and reference materials for Federal employees to find help dealing with domestic violence. OPM has issued a guide outlining management tools and personnel flexibilities which can help a victim cope with their situation and get assistance. That guide can be found here.  Furthermore, OPM provides a list of non-U.S. Government resources which can assist those in need of support.

Spreading awareness and education is among the best ways we can prevent domestic violence.  As the President declared in his presidential proclamation,

While our Nation has made strides in preventing domestic violence…much work remains to be done.

To ensure the protection of all Americans, especially women and children, we must strive to end domestic violence – in all its forms – from our society and help victims recover from abuse.

And we must encourage Americans affected by domestic violence to seek help from those they trust and to never lose hope in the possibility of building a better life.

There is still more work to be done to combat and end domestic abuse.

But by raising awareness about DVSAS we can begin to bring about change, support victims and survivors of these crimes, and prevent domestic violence from happening in the future.

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, here at OPM and across the Federal Government, we will continue working to support all our employees to ensure they are safe and to foster a nurturing workplace that will lead to a more productive, capable, efficient, and effective Federal Workforce.

Watch this video to learn more about the 2018 Domestic Violence Awareness power walk and OPM's efforts to support survivors and victims of domestic abuse.  



[1] [1]  Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J. & Stevens, M. (2011). The national intimate partner and sexual violence survey: 2010 summary report. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf.  


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