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.
Employees engaged in pro se administrative litigation (for example, EEOC complaints or MSPB appeals) often just seek assistance during specific components of a process in an effort to save money.
The new trend, which appears to have emerged from “pilot program” status, seeks to streamline case processing in connection with EEOC pre-hearing procedures.
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.
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.
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.
An unpleasant work environment is not the same as a hostile work environment (HWE) within the meaning and application of actionable discrimination law and concepts.
Question “Can a disciplinary (suspension w/out pay of 14 calendar days or less) or adverse (suspension w/out pay of 15 calendar days or more, demotion, or removal) action be challenged for timeliness if the employee has been on administrative duty…
Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) Judge’s Handbook and Guidance applicable to federal employees and advocates.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An employee’s voluntary absence from duty is never appealable. In all instances of forced leave status (“enforced leave”) resulting in either 1) loss of pay for 14 days or less or 2) “loss” of leave of 14 days or less OR the placement of the employee into a status that….
Overtime is considered an assignment of work and thus a management right at Title 5 USC § 7106. However, procedures for distributing overtime have generally been determined to be negotiable as are appropriate arrangements for affected employees.
You can resign from your position in federal service at any time; you do not need agency approval to do this and you do not need the agency to “grant” you a resignation. However, you would not want to “request removal” because in essence, you are asking to be removed (fired).
Performance standards and plans are convoluted by years of wrongly held preconceptions by all parties, layers of agency regulations, collective bargaining terms, statutory law, federal regulations, and a body of seemingly confusing and contradictory case law.
The world of federal employee labor relations, like other similar fields of practice, is incredibly nuanced. Many times, we are asked the difference in such nuances and mixed cases and appeal definitions are constant questions.
In retrospect, stating the complaint and appeal on the front end turned out to be 99% of wining the case on the back end.
Clarifying the EEO Process in Federal Sector During the past two years, we noticed many federal agencies deviating from a clearly defined, though not stringent, EEO complaint process (see, EEOC MD-110). It is important to realize federal agencies control the…
A Ward violation (Ward v. USPS, 111 FMSR 183 (Fed. Cir. 02/17/11) occurs when a deciding official considers information not previously noticed to the employee via the proposal notice.
Performance evaluations, also called performance appraisals, performance ratings, and performance management, can be controversial for a number of reasons.
Every federal employee should make time to check their Official Personnel Folder (OPF) at least once a year.
“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?”
An EEO Complaint may be settled at any time during the entire process from Informal Counseling (precomplaint stage) to EEOC Hearing. Many Complaints are settled between the formal complaint and the Final Agency Decision (Hadley).