TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, February 8, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1005

IRS Logo 2The Hill, GOP Seeks to Block IRS From Rehiring Fired Workers:

A group of Republican senators on Tuesday introduced a bill that would bar the Internal Revenue Service commissioner from rehiring employees fired for misconduct [Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act of 2016].

The legislation — rolled out by GOP Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Dean Heller (Nev.) and Mike Enzi (Wyo.) — comes after the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found in late 2014 that the IRS had rehired hundreds of former employees with conduct or performance issues. ...

The senators' bill is a counterpart to a bill introduced in the House in October by GOP Reps. Kristi Noem (S.D.) and Peter Roskam (Ill.).

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/02/the-irs-scandal-day-1005.html

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Comments

I can see rehiring when the issue was performance ... people can improve their work performance given some training and motivation. But misconduct? That suggests a more serious ethical or moral lapse ... which shouldn't get a second chance in this kind of a function. For example, it was recently reported that an IRS employee had been involved in taxpayer identity theft. That is someone who should never work at the IRS again. Picking up trash on the National Mall, perhaps, but not the IRS.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Feb 8, 2016 12:25:51 PM

If a performance issue causes an IRS employee to be fired, the performance issue almost has to be profound. The combination of employment protections and opportunities for remediation through training, reassignment, etc., in federal employment are numerous. Absent specific fact patterns to the contrary, I'd advocate for performance-based termination from the IRS to be permanent as a default. The IRS would have the burden of proof to document the rational basis for exceptions and have an independent party review the exception.

Posted by: Michael Wyland | Feb 9, 2016 2:59:01 AM

Mr. Wyland, you speak the truth. Almost 40 years ago I had to put together a file to fire a trainee revenue agent who had transferred from the Bureau of Prisons, I'm not kidding.

He was just marking time until he could double dip his military retirement. For six months, I worked harder on that case file than I did on any tax case. He eventually quit.

Posted by: Dale Spradling | Feb 9, 2016 5:26:57 AM