Monthly Archives: March, 2010

Q&A Session

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Ask the Lawyer received the following paraphrased question from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: How should a federal supervisor handle a situation where an employee has voluntarily confessed substance abuse to the supervisor? Should the supervisor send the employee to an employee assistance program (EAP), talk to human relations staff, or report the employee to security staff? A: Substance Abusing Subordinates A supervisor who suspects substance abuse, or who has an employee confess substance abuse, has a particular challenge.  First, the supervisor should be aware that current substance abuse,…

Act quickly when dealing with poor performers

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The underperforming employee is a common personnel issue facing federal managers. When a bad attitude accompanies poor performance, the employee becomes the one everyone wants to avoid, particularly the manager. These traits usually result in an employee who believes he can “negotiate” what work assignment he’ll do and by when he’ll get it accomplished. Sometimes, it’s simply passive resistance to work assignments and all kinds of excuses for why the work didn’t get done: “I forgot,” “I didn’t understand what you meant,” “I’m still working on it.” Sometimes the failure to perform a work assignment is an outright refusal, accompanied…

Q&A Session

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Ask the Lawyer received the following paraphrased question from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: I was the respondent in an EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) discrimination complaint. I gave testimony and provided evidence in my defense. I was not found in any way to have discriminated against anyone. However, I raised some issues about my superior and her mismanagement and her “threat” made to me. I also did not like the way the EEO investigators conducted themselves, though I was not found to have discriminated. Since the investigation, Ii have…

Q&A Posts

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Ask the Lawyer received the following paraphrased question from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: In an appeal to the MSPB (Merit Systems Protection Board), can the employee ask for money damages?  That is, if the board decides the employee’s argument(s) prevail, can they award him money in lieu of getting his job back? A: Remedies Available at the MSPB If an employee prevails in an MSPB appeal, the MSPB administrative judge has the authority to award a range of remedies designed to make the employee “whole,” that is, to…

Q&A Session

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Ask the Lawyer received the following paraphrased question from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: Please let me know what constitutes sick leave abuse. A: Sick Leave Abuse Explained Sick leave abuse is a broad and controversial subject that unfortunately is pervasive in the federal workplace.  It occurs when an employee misrepresents that either he or she or a family member have an illness or medical condition that requires the employee to be absent from the workplace on an approved leave status to care for him or herself or the…

Q&A Session

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Ask the Lawyer received the following paraphrased question from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: I have a pending case before the EEOC pertaining to disability discrimination in the Federal Sector.  My understanding is that when the statutory time has elapsed I may pursue my case in Federal District Court.  I have read that under the Rehabilitation Act I may be entitled to have an attorney appointed by the Judge to represent me.  Can you advise me further regarding this entitlement? A: Pursuing an EEO Case in Federal District Court…

Q&A Session

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Ask the Lawyer received the following paraphrased question from a reader on a legal matter that may be of interest to the entire audience. Q: Good evening, I am an SSA employee. I have been on medical leave and exhausted all my annual leave and sick time. My manager has informed me they have no choice but to charge me absent without leave (AWOL). I will submit medical documentation to continue my leave without pay (LWOP), but my question is: Should I go to work on even without my doctors authorization?  I have a pending immediate disability retirement claim at the reconsideration level and a SSA…