Rising old used car prices help push poor Americans over the edge | Reuters


For America’s working poor, an often essential ingredient for getting and keeping a job – having a car – has rarely been more costly, and millions of people are finding it impossible to keep up with payments despite prolonged economic growth and low unemployment.

More than 7 million Americans are already 90 or more days behind on their car loans, according to the New York Federal Reserve, and serious delinquency rates among borrowers with the lowest credit scores have by far seen the fastest acceleration.

The seeds of the problem are buried deep in the financial crisis, when in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, automakers slashed production.

Source: Rising old used car prices help push poor Americans over the edge – Reuters

More than 5,000 hotels add security devices to protect workers from sexual harassment | Los Angeles Times


More than 5,000 U.S. hotels and resorts have begun offering employees security devices and training to help prevent sexual harassment — a problem that has gained prominence with the #MeToo movement and has been targeted by union leaders in Southern California.

A hotel trade group announced the progress Monday, saying an additional 15,000 properties will offer the devices and training by 2020. The news comes about a year after the top executives of Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, Wyndham and Hilton hotels held a joint news conference to promise they would address sexual harassment of hotel workers.

Source: More than 5,000 hotels add security devices to protect workers from sexual harassment – Los Angeles Times

The ‘power pose’ may be overrated, but civil discourse is essential | FCW


This posture distinction hit the big time after research by Amy Cuddy and her colleagues at Harvard Business School. Cuddy coined the phrase “power pose” to describe the expansive, confident stance. A 2012 TED talk by Cuddy on the power pose, with 50 million views to date, is the second-most downloaded TED talk ever. One of my daughters tells me that she has practiced the power pose before going into job interviews, and she is clearly not alone.

A recent NextGov post, however, presents academic literature suggesting that the benefits of the power pose are a myth.

Source: The ‘power pose’ may be overrated, but civil discourse is essential — FCW

Federal HR designed for stability not agility | FCW


The federal hiring process doesn’t match the changing nature of agency work, according to Margaret Weichert, who until recently served as acting director of the Office of Personnel Management.

Weichert, who is deputy director of management at the Office of Management and Budget, told attendees at an Oct. 9 GovExec event that government needs to rethink its hiring model to draw potential applicants who may not fit the typical mold of a federal worker.

“Our human capital structure is not designed to be agile, it’s designed to be stable,” Weichert said.

Source: Weichert: Federal HR designed for stability not agility — FCW

Why older people should be allowed to change their legal age | Aeon Ideas

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Let’s say that on average you are in better shape than other people of your age. You are more able than them: quicker, sprightlier, livelier. You feel and identify as younger than your official age. However, despite all your youthful energy, you are also discriminated against because of your greater age.

You cannot get a job – or, if you do, you might earn less than some of your younger coworkers simply due to your advanced years.

The question is, should you be allowed to change your ‘official’ age in order to avoid this discrimination and to better match how you identify and feel?

Source: Why older people should be allowed to change their legal age | Aeon Ideas

How Trump’s Defiance of Impeachment Probe Could Leave Federal Employees Criminally Liable | Government Executive


Federal employees being asked to disobey congressional mandates related to an impeachment inquiry into President Trump will have difficult decisions to make as they chart a path forward, legal experts say, but will have certain protections available to them.

The State Department on Tuesday refused to make U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland available for a scheduled deposition related to Trump’s interactions with Ukraine, and House Democrats now say they will issue a subpoena to demand his testimony. If the administration continues to block him and other employees from complying with Congress, it could put individuals in a precarious legal position. Pat Cipollone, counsel to the president, sent a letter to House leaders Tuesday afternoon informing Congress the administration will not comply with any element of the probe.

As Congress continues to widen its net for documents and testimony, employees subject to conflicting demands have two options, legal experts told Government Executive.

The first is to violate orders from management and give Congress what it wants, assuming protections under whistleblower law.

A second possibility is to exercise federal employees’ statutory “right to disobey” orders that violate laws, rules or regulations.

Source: How Trump’s Defiance of Impeachment Probe Could Leave Federal Employees Criminally Liable – Government Executive

Killing ‘Dead-End’ Jobs Blocks Career Opportunity | WIRED


On-ramp jobs like these (page, research assistant, receptionist) allow us to do something simple and useful in the middle of the action, get paid, build relationships, get a broader view on organizational operations, and make an educated decision about where to go next.

My research shows that intelligent machines are sharpening a scalpel that will allow us to carve up work processes in the name of productivity, and that routine jobs are the first to go.

Dozens of studies show automation’s looming effects in contexts as diverse as investment banking, policing, education, and internet startups. What’s going to happen to on-ramp jobs in this new world we’re creating?

Source: Killing ‘Dead-End’ Jobs Blocks Career Opportunity | WIRED

Grassley Deviates From Other Senate Republicans and Supports Ukraine Whistleblower | Government Executive


Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a long-time whistleblower protection advocate, broke ranks with some of his Republican colleagues on Tuesday and sided with the whistleblower of the now-infamous July call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president.

“This person appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected,” Grassley said in a press release. “We should always work to respect whistleblowers’ requests for confidentiality. No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts.”

Several Republicans, such as Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Bill Cassidy, R-La.; and Tim Scott, R-S.C., have questioned the whistleblower’s credibility, saying the allegations were based on hearsay.

Source: Grassley Deviates From Other Senate Republicans and Supports Ukraine Whistleblower – Government Executive

Whistleblower is Vulnerable to Retaliation Due to Limited Intelligence Community Protections | Government Executive

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Even accounting for the differences in protections between intelligence community personnel and other government employees, this is an “unprecedented” situation because “an American president is threatening to retaliate against his own intelligence community,” said Allison Stranger, professor at Middlebury College and author of the new book Whistleblowers: Honesty in America from Washington to Trump.

She also said the 2012 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act excludes national security whistleblowers from protection, which makes them more vulnerable to retaliation and “all the more so when an American president is actively inciting it.”

Source: Whistleblower is Vulnerable to Retaliation Due to Limited Intelligence Community Protections – Government Executive

The Pentagon Has Officially Taken Over the Security Clearance Process | Nextgov


The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday handed off its National Background Investigations Bureau to the Defense Department, leaving the Pentagon in charge of conducting the vast majority of government’s security clearance investigations.

At midnight, NBIB officially ceased to exist, and its operations and more than 2,900 employees were subsumed by the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency.

The agency, formerly known as the Defense Security Service, is now charged with adjudicating roughly 95% of the background investigations for the federal government.

Source: The Pentagon Has Officially Taken Over the Security Clearance Process – Nextgov