"EPA: Seeing 'Chilling Effect,' Unions Push Back On Ethics Memo"

"Several unions representing U.S. EPA employees are asking the agency to rework ethics guidance they believe could silence their members.

Union leaders based in the agency's Region 9 office wrote in a letter obtained by E&E News that the agency should clarify a recent ethics memo, a portion of which they believe "sets inappropriate limits on the First Amendment rights of EPA employees."

At issue is a Feb. 3 email, sent out by EPA's Office of General Counsel, that said agency workers are free to speak their minds but warned them not to forget federal ethics rules when doing so.

In their March 24 letter, the union officials honed in on a portion of the guidance that said EPA employees should not give 'undue prominence' to their work position or title."

Kevin Bogardus reports for Greenwire May 9, 2017.

Source: Greenwire, 05/10/2017