The Trump administration reportedly notified hundreds of Interior Department employees Tuesday that they will have 30 days to relocate to western states or face the potential of job terminations.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is relocating 27 employees from Washington, D.C., to the agency’s new headquarters in Colorado and another 220 to field offices out West, Government Executive (GE) reported Tuesday. The relocated employees reportedly have until Dec. 12 to agree to the move; if they don’t accept the terms, then they’ll be fired.
BLM held a meeting Tuesday to discuss the request, GE reported, citing employees who attended the meeting. GE is a daily news outlet that caters exclusively to senior officials in the federal government’s departments. BLM confirmed the report to the Daily Caller News Foundation, saying the agency is working to give the employees “information on all options available.”
“Special consideration” would be made on a case-by-case basis, top BLM officials said, the report noted.
Each employee will be given 90 days to report to duty at their new post if they agree to the move, GE reported. Employees say few of their colleagues have accepted the relocations.
“We sincerely hope employees will be able to follow their positions to the new locations but there are many factors that an individual may consider when deciding whether or not to relocate,” Derrick Henry, a BLM spokesman, told Government Executive.
Many of the employees are looking for different jobs inside Washington, D.C., the report noted.
The federal government owns 640 million acres in the U.S., or roughly 28% of the nation’s entire landmass, with the BLM managing 248.3 million acres of public land, more than any other agency, according to a March 2017 Congressional Research Service report.
This is not the first time federal employees have been asked to relocate.
Department of Agriculture employees at the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) are being directed to relocate to Kansas City, Missouri. The move is expected to save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
Roughly 60 employees with the Agriculture Department relocated by Sept. 30, a local Kansas City media outlet reported.
Government employees turned their backs on Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue during a meeting in June as a silent protest over the decision. Many of the employees feel the change is due to politics and only serves as a platform to interrupt climate research.