Request Consultation

All initial consultations are without charge or obligation (they typically last approximately thirty-minutes) and are conducted telephonically. Our consultants are also willing to conduct consultations nights, weekends, and some holidays as needed. Read about our fees, services we offer, and questions concerning consulting by scrolling down below the form.

Please note: your consultant will assess your specific facts and circumstances and provide a customized estimate of the number of hours recommended to perform the scope of services requested or whether a flat fee arrangement would be more appropriate.

At this time we are not directly accepting clients from the Veterans Administration (VA). If you are a bargaining unit member, you should contact your local union.

Consultation Request Form

  • We strongly do not recommend use of government email addresses. Please provide your personal email address.
  • We strongly do not recommend use of government phones. Please provide your personal phone number.
  • Please note we are not accepting employees of the Veterans Administration as clients at this time. You should contact your local union personnel or seek legal counsel.
    Please check all that apply. This information will help us efficiently and quickly address your inquiry.
  • Select the most appropriate option to describe your main issue.
  • Select the most appropriate option to describe the secondary issue associated with the primary issue.
  • Provide as much reasonable detail you think we will need to properly assign to a consultant.
    Please check all that apply

Disclosure of Fees

  • Initial Consultation
    • No Charge (up to 30 minutes)
      • The purpose of the initial consultation is to assess your situation and determine which aspects may be actionable from our perspective and whether our services will provide value to you.  Initial consultations typically last up to 15-30 minutes and may involve a short document review prior to the consultation.
  • Hourly Rate
    • $160 hourly rate; Minimum 4 hour retainer
      • Our consultants bill on an hourly basis (minimum of 4 hour retainer), with no obligation on your part to commit to large or ongoing retainers. However, there may be exceptions in certain cases as determined by the consultant.  For example, if the scope of work is clearly expected to exceed the minimum retainer of 4 hours and we believe we cannot meet client expectations within the minimum retainer. Otherwise, you simply retain a consultant for the amount of hours you believe needed or as agreed to in discussion with a consultant.  There is no obligation other than a 4 hour minimum retainer (case dependent). Our hourly rate is all inclusive and there are no hidden fees.  Time is billed in 1/10th hr increments.
  • Federal Job Application Review 
    • $225 Flat Rate Fee
      • This flat rate fee provides direct review of your federal application documents by a consultant and a followup 1/2 hr. phone consultation in regard to potential security and suitability issues specifically in connection with submission of the OPM form OF-306 Declaration for Employment and your resume.  The consultant will review all documents in connection with your application including the associated vacancy announcement and consult with you on security and suitability concerns and best methods in handling and responding to these concerns.
  • “Second Opinion” or Document Review
    • $350 Flat Rate Fee
      • This flat rate provides limited document review and up to 1/2 hr. phone consultation regarding nearly any issue and associated documents.
      • Typical applications include review of performance documents, Last Chance Agreements (LCA’s), counseling letters, and low level disciplinary actions such as reprimands and short suspensions.
      • This flat rate fee does not include additional casework. The client may elect to secure a retainer as necessary.
  • Mediation or Settlement Preparation
    • $400 Flat Rate Fee
      • This service typically applies to mediation or settlement negotiations preparation applicable to matters in EEO, MSPB, Last Chance Agreements (LCA), and grievance resolution.
      • This flat rate provides limited document review in support of mediation or settlement efforts and up to a 1 hr. phone consultation to prepare the client for mediation or settlement negotiations with the agency.  This fee also includes  review of any resulting settlement offer or agreement. This service prepares the employee to professionally present their case at mediation or settlement, advises on procedures and processes, conduct, negotiations techniques, and finalization of agreements and proposed settlement remedies.
      • This flat rate fee does not include additional casework.
  • Initial Case Assessment (ICA)
    • $450 Flat Rate Fee
      • This service typically applies to all aspects of EEO cases including pre-complaint at both informal and formal stage, EEO Final Agency Decisions (FAD), review of agency proposed adverse actions (suspensions greater than 14 days, removals, and demotions), MSPB appeals, Arbitrations, and negotiated grievances.
      • This flat fee provides a comprehensive review and determination of whether a client’s presented issue is actionable and in what manner and forum.  The ICA includes a full review of evidence, phone conference with client to ascertain facts and circumstances, applicable research and application, as well as a closeout phone conference to provide the client with conclusive guidance on how and whether to proceed.  
      • This flat rate fee does not include additional casework such as finalizing EEO claims, preparing responses to proposed adverse actions, preparing MSPB appeal submissions, or initiating appeals of Final Agency Decisions. The client may elect to secure a retainer as necessary.
  • Review of Report of Investigation (ROI) in Connection with EEO Complaint
    • $500 Flat Rate Fee
      • This flat fee provides a full review of a completed Report of Investigation (ROI) including analysis of investigated (and amended) claims and evidence.  Our consultant will conduct a telephone conference to discuss findings and recommendations concerning both the viability and sustainability of your claims in the context of either an elected Final Agency Decision (FAD) or request for an EEOC hearing as well as additional evidentiary options (discovery).
      • Assess sustainability of claims at hearing in consideration of results of ROI and supplemental discovery.
      • Review and advise on requested remedies in consideration of investigative results of the Report of Investigation.
      • If selecting this option please note that we will need sufficient lead-time to meet the deadlines in electing a FAD or EEOC hearing.
      • This flat rate fee does not include additional casework. The client may elect to secure a retainer as necessary.

Services We Provide

  • Proposed Disciplinary (suspensions) and Adverse Actions (i.e. removal)
    • Initial consultation in evaluating the agency’s proposed  disciplinary or adverse action and ensuring all employee rights are asserted.
    • Preparing written responses and supporting evidence files to proposed disciplinary & adverse actions.
    • Preparing you to meet in person with the deciding official.
    • Assist in negotiating and crafting settlement agreements or Last Chance Agreements (LCA’s) to improve future employability.
  • Disciplinary (suspensions) and Adverse Action (i.e. removal) Decisions
    • We can help provide you with stability in a very difficult, highly emotional situation by objectively determining your grounds for appeal and avenues of redress in a cost effective manner.
    • Appeals of adverse decisions (effectuated adverse actions of removals or suspension greater than 14 days), to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) or other applicable adjudicative agencies.
    • Preparing discovery related motions and providing consultation during discovery phase, in pre-hearing procedures, and at hearings before an administrative law judge.
    • Preparing you for status conferences.
    • Preparing motions to assert jurisdiction before MSPB (responding to Jurisdictional Orders).
    • Responding to agency Motions for Summary Judgement (MSJ’s).
    • Assist in negotiating and crafting settlement agreements or Last Chance Agreements (LCA’s) to improve future employability including monetary compensation components.
  • EEO Complaints and Appeals
    • Initial consultation in evaluating your unique fact patterns and circumstances to assess viability and sustainability of EEO complaints; structuring of informal and formal claims and chances for settlement.
    • Assisting you in the initiation of EEO counseling (informal stage).
    • Providing expert consultation during EEO counseling and/or alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
    • Preparing formal EEO claims for agency submission in accordance with Title 29 and agency requirements.
    • Filing formal complaints and providing consultation throughout the agency’s administrative investigation stage.
    • Assisting in evidence development and submission.
    • Conducting critical analysis of the final Report of Investigation (ROI) to assess best appeal methods and completeness of the ROI.
    • Assist in negotiating and crafting settlement agreements including monetary compensation components (damages and awards).
    • Prepare discovery related documents and responses to agency motions.
    • Preparing appeals of final agency decisions (FAD’s) to the EEOC Office of Federal Operations.
    • Preparing clients for hearing.
    • Responding to agency Motions for Summary Judgement (MSJ).
    • Filing motions for sanctions.
  • Document and Records Review
    • Deciphering SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action forms (NOAC’s and Legal Authorities). 
    • Assist in correcting inaccurate forms.
    • Reviewing Last Chance Agreements and settlement agreements for administrative sufficiency. 
    • Craft Last Chance Agreement and settlement agreement counter-proposals that meet administrative requirements.
  • Reasonable Accommodation
    • Initial consultation in evaluating your specific facts and circumstances in connection with Reasonable Accommodation request.
    • Review of medical evidence for administrative sufficiency determination. 
    • Assist with formal filing of reasonable accommodation request.
    • Prepare formal written request and written responses to agency inquiries and requests for additional information.
    • Prepare written informal and formal EEO appeals in connection with denials of Reasonable Accomodation.
  • FERS Disability Retirement
    • Review medical evidence to determine its administrative sufficiency in support of your disability retirement application.
    • Assist you in obtaining agency held evidence in support of your FERS disability application. 
    • Assist you in preparing your Standard Form 3107, Application for Immediate Retirement (FERS), and Standard Form 3112, Documentation In Support of Disability Retirement.
    • Assist you in requesting reconsideration of U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Initial Decision denying your application for disability retirement when necessary.
    • Assist you in appealing OPM’s Final Decision denying your application for disability retirement to the U.S. Merit System Protection Board (MSPB).
  • Federal Workers Compensation (OWCP)
    • General consultation
    • Preliminary reviews of filings
    • Defense of agency actions proposed in connection with rejected OWCP claims
  • Suitability Adjudication Issues
    • Responding to preliminary inquiries requiring employee responses (explanations)
    • Appealing negative suitability adjudications

Consulting Questions

Updated: July 19, 2020

Abstract

Senior federal, state, and local agency executives as well as mid-level and frontline managers in government agencies all have access to expert consultation and transactional services in the areas of employee & labor relations and EEOC litigation.  These experts provide government managers professional consultation and transactional support litigating against federal, state, and local public employees.  We believe government employees should have the same access to this level of expertise and transactional support. 

These questions are our most frequently asked concerning our consulting services.  Though we try to provide as much information as possible, you may have a question not included here.  Please feel free to contact us.

Do you offer a free initial consultation?

Yes.  We provide an initial no cost and no obligation consultation.  This no obligation consultation typically lasts less than one half hour and is conducted telephonically.  The objective of this consultation is to determine 1) if the services we provide are applicable to your situation and 2) if the services provided would be cost-effective. Requests for free consultation can be initiated by clicking here (fasted method). 

How Available Are Consultants to Clients?

Our consultants are perhaps the most available you will encounter.  Each call or text from a client is routed through our VOIP/Exchange system directly to your consultant eighteen hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year including holidays.  Texts and short emails are typically responded to within minutes and voicemail within a few hours at most. Our consultants respond after hours and on weekends (that is when most actually clients prefer), typically working an 18/7 schedule.

Will You Work with My Union Representative?

Yes. We appreciate working with union representatives.  Often, this arrangement can result in cost savings and expedite our entry into your case. We have received positive feedback form labor unions.

Do I Need An Attorney or Union Representative?

Attorneys are not required in cases involving personnel matters (federal, state, or local), though you may prefer an attorney.  In fact, you can even have a friend, family member, or coworker represent you directly or indirectly since you are most likely dealing with an administrative matter.  It is a common misconception only attorneys or the union can represent federal employees in personnel matters. For example, you can hire a consultant to assist you before the MSPB, EEOC, FLRA, OSC, or even at arbitration because we are consultants, not your direct representative.  In some cases, you may want to hire a consultant to handle every aspect of your case.  To save even more money, you can retain a consultant to consult with you or just prepare your MSPB appeal, write a grievance response, write your response to a proposed action, prepare you for your oral response to a deciding official, review your documents, prepare your post-arbitration brief, etc..  If it is determined by the consultant at anytime you need an attorney, you will be advised accordingly.  

Why Should I Hire a Consultant and Not Use a Union Steward?

In short order, we do what most unions cannot. While we are all strong union supporters, and some of us were once union officials, it has been our experience most federal unions at the local level of operations are simply incapable of representing members in serious matters such as adverse actions (removals and suspensions greater the fourteen days), EEO complaints, serious investigations, non selection matters, and disciplinary actions.  This is particularly pertinent now as federal unions recently lost their Official Time under Executive Order 13837.  Though portions of the Executive Order were overturned (later reinstated), most union officials had already retired or given up their positions. There are rare exceptions.  However, chances are your union is not the exception.  Our consultants receive top-level third-party training throughout the year and have significant academic and professional credentials. They practice in this field on a daily basis, a requirement to be in our group.  Regardless, we would like to work with your union in assisting you if at all possible.   Many unions will even pay our fees or reimburse you for our fees.

Who Will Provide the Consultation?

Consulting is provided directly by senior level federal labor and employe relations experts who provide executive level consulting and transactional litigation services.  These consultants have practiced before the MSPB, EEOC, FLRA, arbitrators, and the FMCS and are certified mediators.

Will My Union Pay Your Fees?

Sometimes.  Some Unions will even contact us on your behalf or seek telephonic consultation (i.e.; initial or second opinion) regarding your situation.  Usually, the more serious the issue, the more likely they will either pay fees directly or reimburse you for fees paid.  Nothing prevents any union from paying consulting fees on behalf of members or reimbursing those fees to members (more common).  

Do you provide legal services?

No.  Consultants do not provide legal services.  Consultants provide specialty consulting services in the wide area of federal personnel matters.  We also provide transactional litigation services including written appeals, discovery requests, preparation of motions and responses to motions, evidence preparation, crafting of EEO complaint claims and bases, affidavit support, etc..  These areas include discipline, adverse actions, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), retirement, personnel action coding, administrative investigations, FOIA, Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeals, Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) actions, arbitration, document reviews, union representation oversight, and a variety of other matters.

Is a Consultant Less Expensive than an Attorney?

In every case, without exception, yes.  Our recent experiences indicate an initial retainer for an attorney to represent you in an EEOC complaint is $10,000 and an MSPB initial retainer can be as high as $15,000 depending on your geographic location.  

At What Stage Should I Hire a Consultant?

The earlier you hire a consultant, the more money you are likely to save.  We prefer to take a preventative approach rather than a reactive approach to problem solving. For example, during a proposed removal stage, your response to the deciding official is absolutely critical.  This is your chance to end the proposed action and return your life to normal without further administrative litigation.  If you fail to convince the deciding official he or she should mitigate the proposed removal, your next stop is either arbitration (if union approves) or the Merit Systems Protection Board. In some cases you may elect to file an EEO complaint (Mixed Case complaint).

Can a Consultant Just Assist Me and Not “Take my whole case”?

Yes.  This is actually our preferred method.  We prefer you retain control and save money by doing as much as you can with our assistance only as needed as determined by you.  We can provide advice, research, second opinions, write your responses, prepare you for deposition, assist you in discovery, write your discovery motions, and anything else case related. By using us in this way, what could have cost you $15,000 may only cost you $1,200.  We call this Indirect Representation. It is the least expensive, yet still effective, method for clients in nearly every situation.

Is a La Carte Consulting Effective?

Yes. Very.  You only hire a consultant as needed.  However, a retainer guarantees the availability of a consultant.  There is never an obligation to continue with services.  

Do I Designate the Consultant as My Representative?

No, unless specifically directed to do so by your consultant.

Are Consultants Employees of InformedFED?

No.  Consultants are associated with InformedFED as contributors or independent advisors but they are not employees.  If you retain a consultant, the transaction is between you and that individual consultant. We merely provide a referral service in these cases.  Consultant availability may vary widely at times.

How do I Pay the Consultant?

All payments are made via PayPal or Apple Pay for security reasons though individual consultants may accept check payments at their discretion or even Venmo. You will be invoiced to the e-mail you provide us.  This invoice will detail the service agreement or arrangement.  All invoices are payable in full on date received or shortly thereafter.  Consulting services are not secured until payment is made.  

Are Your Services Tax Deductible?

No. 

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.