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

Social Media in Fed Workspace

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, and a host of other social media tools are increasingly becoming a topic of conversation and disciplinary assessment in many Employee and Labor Relations sections.  Many social media related issues are beginning to percolate through…

Leverage the EEO Process If Needed

Federal Employees Should Leverage the EEO Process This article is not intended to serve as a treatise on filing an EEO complaint.  It is intended to serve as an introduction to why you may want to leverage the EEO process rather than the…

Crime Provisions Affecting Federal Employees

Background Question “My agency proposed I be indefinitely suspended under the ‘crime provisions.’ What is that?” Response Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulations (5 CFR 752.402(e)) permit agencies to place employees on indefinite suspension pending completion of investigation or criminal proceedings when…

SF 50 Codes (Nature of Action & Legal Authority)

While it is true we could not have come up with a more boring title for this article, we frequently field questions concerning the SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action, and more specifically, the enigmatic Nature of Action and Legal Authority…

Agency ELR Specialists (Agency Role)

Background Question “What is the role of the agency ELR Specialists?  What is their education level? What is their grade level ?” Response Agency ELR Specialists are specialized human resources personnel with a primary, if not only, specialization in the…

Reasonable Accommodation & Unexpected Consequences

This article is not intended to provide detailed instructions in applying for Reasonable Accommodation.  Each circumstance and set of facts is unique and instructions are specific in that regard as well as internal agency regulations. Instead, this article is intended to…

Change of Supervisor is Beyond Your Control

The Federal Services Labor Management Relations Statute, although somewhat “watered down” by years of case law, reserves a supervisory assignment, and most matters involving assignment of work in any regard, to the sole discretion of the agency.  

Union Representation During Counseling

The first thing any bargaining unit employee should do when determining whether they have a right to union representation is refer to their Master Agreement (union contract) or contact a Union Representative

Administrative Leave & Authorized Absence

The terms Administrative Leave and Authorized Absence are essentially synonymous (we will use the term Administrative Leave for the purposes of this post).  Further, we distinguish that for the purpose of this article, we are not addressing such leave used by union representatives for official time related to union activities.

Are You Required to Invoke FMLA?

If a federal employee has sufficient leave balances there is no requirement the affected employee first be approved under the FMLA prior to a supervisor approving the use of accrued sick leave (SL) or accrued annual leave (AL) in lieu of sick leave

Making Initial EEO Contact to File a Complaint

Initial contact with an EEO Counselor is a seemingly simple, but incredibly critical task to preserve appeal rights.  This is the very first step in filing an EEO complaint and must be accomplished within forty-five days of the agency’s alleged…

Last Chance Agreement in Federal Service

Last chance agreements (LCA’s) and settlements contain terms agreed to by an (federal) employee, or former employee, and the agency, in which the employee is provided an opportunity to retain (or return to) employment, usually when the agency would otherwise remove, or did in fact already remove, the employee from federal employment.

Union Membership Solicitation in Workplace

Question: “Can a [federal] union official solicit union membership during duty hours or official time?” Response:  Rarely is the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) as clear on other questions as they are with this question.  Unless your Master Agreement or other negotiated…

Resigning from Federal Service Process

During and following the massive debacle of the “Trump Shutdown”, we received a large number of inquiries.  Among the most prevalent inquiries we received concerned resigning from Federal Service (going to private sector), particularly when Human Resources personnel were not…