Category: Articles

Articles cover the wide range of federal administrative litigation and personnel actions affecting federal employees. Topics include, but are not limited to, federal and public employee discipline, adverse actions, removals, demotions, disciplinary reassignments, EEO, Unfair Labor Practice complaints, grievances, arbitration, and other federal and public sector (State and local) administrative litigation and personnel matters

Bruner Presumption

An adverse action may assist a federal employee in applying for FERS disability. This is generally referred to as the “Bruner Presumption”.

Returning to the Office

As federal employees begin returning to the office or otherwise contend with instructions to do so, it is important they understand implications for decisions in not returning to the office as instructed.

Performance Awards

End of year performance awards can be a highly contentious issue. This time of year we receive an incredible number of inquiries from federal employees concerning annual performance appraisals and associated (linked or unlinked) “bonuses”.  It should be noted that these…

Protected Health Information (PHI or Medical Information)

The safeguarding and regulatory compliant handling of Protected Health Information (PHI), also referred to more broadly as medical information, in our opinion, presents one of  the most significant risks for federal agencies and managers (particularly with an aging workforce and increased frequency…

Federal Agency Discovery Requests

Employees should understand that just as the affected employee can serve discovery requests upon the agency, the agency can serve discovery requests upon the affected employee.

Union Representative: Good or bad idea?

There is a prevailing theory that it is better to have a union representative (also commonly referred to as “union steward”), than not have a union representative, given such a need. We are certainly proponents of labor organizations and their…

Douglas Factors in Federal Employment

In determining a penalty in an adverse action, an agency should consider a number of factors. Among the many considerations are the “Douglas Factors” in certain situations.  If the agency fails to make these considerations or is otherwise unable to prove…

Duty of Fair Representation and Federal Employees

Typical Duty of Fair Representation Inquiry Typical inquiries concerning the issue or concept of Duty of Fair Representation involves claims that the local union is incompetent, not active, or at the worst, corrupt. Such claims are actually not unusual.  Many…

Leave Without Pay (LWOP) and OWCP Claims

Leave Without Pay (LWOP) in connection with Office of Worker’s Compensation Claims (DOL OWCP) is a source of confusion for federal employees, as well as agencies.  In our experience, this is largely due to a number of misperceptions of affected employees…

Federal Employee Retirement (After Being “Fired”)

Federal employee retirement benefits are often an enigma. From annuity calculations, supplemental benefits, deferrals, the role of social security, and a host of other questions we receive. However, one of the most requests we receive is whether an employee loses…

Grievance Presentation

Grievance Presentation by federal and state level unions rely on negotiated grievance procedures primarily for contract enforcement.

Proving Delivery

In Morgan v. Department of Veterans Affairs, 108 LRP 7740  , EEOC No. 0120080380 (EEOC OFO 2008), a tracking slip showing a notice of right to file was left at a complainant’s doorstep.  However, it was not conclusive evidence the complainant actually received the notice on that day. 

Performance Awards & Negotiable Aspects

In general, awards in the federal service are not considered an entitlement.  That statement is the prevailing guiding principle.  However, in 1997 the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued significant rules deregulating performance management systems and related awards.

MSPB or Arbitration in Federal Sector?

Many practitioners, both union and agency, will cite MSPB management (agency) favorability statistics indicating MSPB favors the agency in outcomes. This is true, but somewhat skewed because most labor organizations will 1) send “bad cases” (those lacking merit) to the MSPB because there are no associated costs unlike arbitration and/or 2) send cases to MSPB because they lack funds to pay for arbitration.