Category: Pay & Benefits

Articles cover wide range of issues affecting federal pay and benefits. Though we focus on federal employees, some of the information may be applicable to state and local public employees.

Can a Union Negotiate Performance Awards?

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.

FAQ: Should I Resign?

“Last week they [federal agency] decided to fire me. Should I just resign? If I resign, what will show in my OPF?”

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…

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.

Union Officials and Worker’s Comp

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.

“In Lieu Of” Removal

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.

Overtime in the Federal Sector

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.

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?”

Excused Absences for Inclement Weather

With the recent outbreak of severe weather, we received many inquiries from federal employees concerning Excused Absence (also called “Authorized Absence” and even “Administrative Leave” by some agencies). 

Consulting Questions

These questions are our most frequently asked concerning consulting services for federal employees.  Though we try to provide as much information as possible, you may have a question not included here.  Please feel free to contact us.

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