Question: “When should I contact a consultant? Should I wait until the Agency proposes an action or makes a decision?” What about for an EEO Complaint? Also, “Will my union pay associated fees or help me in any other way?”
Answer: As soon as possible. This is the same advice we provide to agency supervisors, managers, and executives concerning all aspects of employee and labor relations. Typically, the earlier we are brought into a situation, the less costly it is for the affected employee for usually one of two reasons. First, if we are brought in late, we often must “unravel” what has already happened or spend a large amount of time figuring out what has happened. Second, if we are brought in late, it is often difficult to apply corrective or preventative measures that may have resulted in a favorable outcome early on. Also, as you progress through an issue, whether part of a disciplinary process or through the EEO process, your options become limited; we would rather provide you a wider range of options when possible. Keep in mind, this same advice applies for contacting your union representatives as well (if you have one).
As for union assistance, it has been our general experience many unions will reimburse you for fees or even front consultation fees. Some local unions have contracted our services directly on your behalf even assigning a union representative to assist (it reduces billable hours). There is nothing that prevents any union from reimbursing you or paying fees upfront.
InformedFED provides expert administrative consulting and related transactional services to federal employees in all labor and employee relations matters.
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The material on this website is intended to provide only general information and comment to the public and federal employees. Although we make our best efforts to ensure information found on this website is accurate and timely, we cannot, and do not, guarantee the information is either. Nor do we guarantee accuracy of any information contained on websites to which our website provide links. Consultants offered through this website are not attorneys and are not employees of InformedFED. They are advanced labor and employee relations practitioners. They provide services to clients in their individual capacities through individual agreements with their clients.