Pete Kasperowicz reports for the Washington Examiner on one source of criticism for a plan to address ongoing problems at the federal department targeting veterans’ services.

The country’s largest federal worker union says language aimed at boosting accountability at the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs is actually an “assault” on federal employee rights, and asked senators on Monday night to drop it.

The Senate has been working for weeks on new VA legislation, and may introduce a bipartisan plan this week. House Republicans in particular are pushing for language that would make it easier for the VA to fire corrupt or negligent employees.

But on Monday, the American Federation of Government Employees wrote senators to say that language would violate the due process rights and even the civil rights of federal workers.

“Title I of the bill, entitled ‘Personnel and Accountability Matters,’ is a frontal assault on federal employee due process rights,” AFGE wrote.

AFGE noted that the language as currently written would allow the VA to keep employees on staff an an “at will” status, allow the firing process to be sped up, and allow minor reprimands to be maintained in an employee’s file.

“The rights of federal employees to defend themselves against accusations of poor performance or misconduct are matters of civil rights as well as due process rights, and AFGE will stand firm in defense of those rights,” the letter said.

The union also said the bill would end up hurting women and minority workers more than others, although it didn’t say how.

AFGE argued that scaling back these due process rights would turn federal employment into a political “spoils system” that would let parties stock the government with people they like, and deprive deserving workers of their jobs.