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*** Four months after initially filing, the American Federation of Government Employees has added plaintiffs from several new agencies in its lawsuit seeking hazard pay for federal employees exposed to the coronavirus. The lawsuit initially supported claims of workers at the Bureau of Prisons and the Departments of Agriculture and Veterans Affairs who were seeking pay bumps of 25% in hazard pay to compensate them for being exposed to coronavirus while on duty. Now employees at the Department of Labor, Social Security Administration, several Defense Department components and Homeland Security agencies such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement had been added as plaintiffs to the suit.

In a statement, AFGE National President Everett Kelley said that tens of thousands of federal employees had contracted COVID-19 since the original suit was filed March 30, and he urged both the court and Congress to intervene.

*** The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the Defense Intelligence Agency to embrace telework, speed cloud migrations and automate data categorization. Douglas Cossa, deputy CIO for the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the agency has been focusing on migrating business functions to cloud services in the past year, such as HR and financial systems, but COVID-19 has "shed new light on functions that we never thought that we could do before," including remote work.

"Over the past 90 days, we've been operating really with 20% of our workforce and the majority of those business functions have moved at home. And we've made some pretty quick migrations of a number of our services to commercial cloud," Cossa said during a July 22 Defense One virtual event on cloud. Cossa also said the agency is upgrading its prototype project that automatically links relevant policies and laws to individual data pieces to stem overclassification in its Data Governance Platform.

*** The General Services Administration added Google's eCAPTCHA tool to its beta.Regulations.gov portal as part of the modernization effort for the site. Adding the reCAPTCHA tool is part of ongoing efforts to support the integrity of the rulemaking process and manage comments, said the agency's Office of Governmentwide Policy in a July 23 blog post on the agency’s website.

Posted on Jul 27, 2020 at 2:33 AM


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