Speed Reads

don't look at me

Federal employees are avoiding promotions because they don't want to be too closely associated with the Trump administration

President Trump has been cleaning house of late, and no one in Washington is safe. Two Cabinet secretaries have been dismissed via Twitter, while the ones who remain in their posts have been directed to reassign dozens of career government officials for nebulous reasons. Meanwhile, public perception of Trump's performance in office remains sour.

It's no wonder, then, that many federal workers are just trying to lay low. So low, in fact, that in a lengthy exploration of life in Washington under Trump published Friday, Politico revealed that some employees are actually trying to avoid being promoted:

The HHS employee, and others interviewed by Politico, said they were hesitant to seek promotions because they didn't want to work closely with Trump appointees they view as unqualified and deeply partisan.

After [Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke] said he would reassign up to 50 senior executive staff members, employees further down the chain realized that seeking a promotion could put them in the crosshairs for reassignments that seemed to them based more on politics and less on their skill sets or job requirements.

"With those jobs, there was always a possibility that you would have to relocate," an Interior Department staffer said. "But the idea that you'll be arbitrarily relocated because the administration thinks you can't be trusted, that's unheard of. So it's really stagnated, the number of people who apply for those jobs." [Politico]

Longtime federal employees said they were "keeping their heads down," Politico wrote, and "ignoring possible avenues for promotions because they have little interest in being subjected to the political infighting that has taken hold in many agencies." Others have struggled with marital strife, increased drinking, or social alienation as a result of working under Trump. Read more at Politico.