Category: Consultant’s Opinion

Articles cover professional opinions of our consultants concerning a variety of matters affecting federal and public employees (state and local).

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…

FAQ: MSPB or Arbitration?

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.

How We Evaluate Cases

While many situations may in fact be “adverse” or otherwise objectionable to the employee from their perspective, not all situations and appeals will result in an outcome favorable to the employee.

Termination of Telework Authorized Due to COVID-19

Significant confusion exists across the federal workforce concerning telework authorized as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and national emergency and subsequent social distancing efforts. As agencies begin recalling workers, we are experiencing an increase in calls concerning telework in the context of the pandemic.

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.

Probationary Employee? Maybe Not.

Consultants from InformedFed experienced an increase in the number of cases in which a federal employee receives notice of  probationary period termination, but is in fact not an employee on probation. 

Check Your OPF

Every federal employee should make time to check their Official Personnel Folder (OPF) at least once a year.

When to Contact a Consultant

“When should I contact a consultant? Should I wait until the Agency proposes an action or makes a decision?”  Also, “Will my union pay associated fees or help me in any other way?”

Why is the EEO System So One-Sided?

I was thinking about filing an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint but did some research and found that less than 3% of people who file actually win. Why is this system so one sided?

Due Process in Federal Service

The false belief, almost legendary at this point, that “you can’t fire a federal employee” is absolutely absurd.  This Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) report supports our view.  

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.

Role of ELR Specialists

The primary role of an agency ELR Specialist is to provide expert consultative and transactional services to agency supervisors, managers, and executives concerning federal sector employee and labor relations.  Sometimes, these specialists are even further sub-categorized as to specialties.

What Your Union Doesn’t Know Can Hurt You

The representation of federal employees in discipline and adverse actions is complicated.  In our experience, most local labor unions are not technically prepared to provide such representation to safeguard an employee’s career and future financial security.

Change of Supervisor

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.  

Making Initial Contact: EEO

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.