RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam signed three executive orders on Saturday, just after he took office.
His first executive order will not allow any state employee or agent within the Executive Branch to discriminate anyone "based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, or political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities in Virginia state government."
The policy also does not allow discrimination against veterans.
In his executive order, Northam also said those who have the ability to appoint people should also work to recruit "qualified minorities, women, disabled persons, and older Virginians to serve at all levels of state government. This directive does not permit or require the lowering of bona fide job requirements, performance standards, or qualifications to give preference to any state employee or applicant for state employment."
"Allegations of violations of this policy shall be brought to the attention of the Office of Equal Employment Services of the Department of Human Resource Management. No state appointing authority, other management principal, or supervisor shall take retaliatory actions against persons making such allegations," the executive order said.
According to the directive, any state employee that violates the policy will face appropriate disciplinary action.
In his second executive order, he delegated powers and duties to his chief of staff.
- To direct, as the deputy planning and budget officer, the administration of the state government planning and budget process, except as to the responsibilities enumerated below, which are retained by me:
- Submission of the budget and accompanying documents to the General Assembly;
- Final review and determination of all proposed expenditures and of estimated revenues and borrowings to be included in the Executive Budget for each state department, division, office, board, commission, institution, or other agency or undertaking;
- Amendment of Position Levels; and
- Authorization of deficits.
- To direct, as the deputy personnel officer, the administration of the state government personnel system, except as to the responsibility enumerated below, which are retained by me:
- Final determination with respect to employee compensation plans;
- Submission of reports to the General Assembly by the Governor as required by law;
- Issuance, amendment, or suspension of the Rules for the Administration of the Virginia Personnel Act; and
- Final action on appeals from appointing authorities to the Governor.
- To review, in the event of my absence or unavailability, major planning, budgetary, personnel, policy, and legislative matters that require my decision.
- To review, in the event of my absence or unavailability, policy or operational differences that may arise among or between my Secretaries and other Cabinet members.
- To administer the direction and supervision of the Governor's Office, as well as budgetary and personnel authority for the Office.
In Governor Northam's third executive order, he said his Chief of Staff have the powers to declare a state of emergency and to call the Virginia National Guard to active service for emergencies or disasters if the governor is incapacitated or cannot be reached.
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