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

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.

Responding to Proposed Suspensions

Employees facing discipline must be responsive to the agency notice.  It is important affected employees act quickly and immediately begin preparing a reply as appropriate.  Even if an employee does not intend to challenge the proposed action, an employee may effectively mitigate the proposed action to a lesser degree or achieve an alternative outcome.

MSPB Right to Counsel Not Absolute

Recently, a Federal employee argued the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) “abused its discretion” by failing to appoint (and pay for) an attorney to represent her.

Worker Compensation & Union Officials

Federal union officials engaged in authorized (by agency) representational activities are covered by the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA).  However, union representatives engaged in the internal business of a labor organization or not on authorized time are not covered.

Timeliness in Disciplinary & Adverse Actions

Timeliness in Disciplinary & Adverse Actions This question involves the general topic of timeliness in disciplinary adverse actions. “ “Can a disciplinary (suspension w/out pay of 14 calendar days or less) or adverse (suspension w/out pay of 15 calendar days…

MSPB Judge’s Handbook as a Resource

Reviewing the MSPB Judge’s handbook, whether you are a union representative representing an employee in an adverse action under appeal at the Merit Systems Protection Board, or you are an employee representing yourself, can prove a valuable resource and an…

Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing involves disclosure of information an employee or applicant reasonably believes evidences a violation of law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.

EEO Process Chart for Federal Employees

One of the most common questions we receive concerns the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint process.  Yes, without question, the process can be confusing to the uninitiated. This is why there are numerous published EEO complaint process charts. 

“In Lieu Of” Removal in Federal Service

Federal employees faced with removal possess the ability to resign prior to the effective date of the removal action.  Employees otherwise eligible for retirement maintain the ability to retire prior to and after the effective date of removal.