Monthly Archives: November, 2010

Q & A Session – Qualified for GS-14 Position?

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: I was under NSPS and have been converted back to the General Schedule as a GS-12. I am receiving retained pay because under NSPS I was the equivalent of a GS-13. I would like to apply for a newly created GS-14 position. I have been certified as fully qualified, but want to know if there is a basis to appeal the decision? A: Your question is unclear. Were you denied…

Q & A Session – Proposed Removal for Drugs/DUI

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: My security clearance has been revoked for possession of marijuana and a DUI. My position requires a clearance. Are there any options to combat my removal? A: Illegal drug use while possessing a security clearance is a very serious matter likely to lead to a loss of clearance. It is not automatic, but it will take some very strong mitigating circumstances to keep the clearance. See the Ask the Lawyer…

Q & A Session – EAP Referrals

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: I read the previous article on how Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) came into existence. Are there other reasons to refer to an EAP besides alcohol or drug use? What about if your husband is an alcoholic or if your spouse is physically abusive and that has led to poor performance? A: EAPs can be used for very broad purposes, including all those mentioned in this inquiry. The reason for the…

Q & A Session – Hostile Work Environment and Leave

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: After 23 years of government service, I was recently reassigned to a new job and new supervisor. I have not yet been placed on performance objectives, but my new supervisor has threatened to place me on a PIP after being unable to complete a task because I had an already schedule appointment. The next day my supervisor yelled at me in front of the office. I felt sick, submitted a…

Q & A Session – Base Pay Reduction

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: During the NSPS to GS conversion in June 2010, my base pay was reduced 10%. The reduction in base pay was not administrative or voluntary. Is this legal? A: If your base salary was reduced, you may have an MSPB appeal right. You might consider consulting an attorney or filing an MSPB appeal on your own to raise the issue. Non-probationary employees who have their base pay reduced are entitled…

Q & A Session – US Citizenship for Civil Service

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: When I first applied and was hired onto my position two years ago, the job required permanent residency. Since I have a green card and am a permanent resident, I was hired after an interview process and background check. Recently, I was told the position requires citizenship, and I have been stripped of my responsibilities. Is this allow under EEO and what are my rights? A: U.S. citizenship, with a…

Q & A Session – Student Loan Debt

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: My security clearance is up for renewal in 3 years. Together, my wife and I have credit card and student loan debt that has been accumulating over the past 15 years from personal injuries and layoffs. My student loans are currently in voluntary forbearance but that will run out in three years and it’s the only reason they have not gone into default. What can I do to try and…

Q & A Session – Whistleblower Protection?

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: I complained about the cancellation to replace unsafe flooring to my Commanding Officer, as well as to OSHA, DODIG and my Senator. I was terminated after my complaints and 24 hours before my probationary period was finished. Is there anything I can do? A: The U.S. Office of Special Counsel might consider your case if you can show the activity that led to our removal was protected whistleblowing. In general…

Q & A Session – Termination after Request for Reasonable Accommodations

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: I have a targeted disability and qualified for Schedule A. I was terminated for poor performance from an entry level position during my probationary period after I asked for reasonable accommodations that would have helped my performance, but never received any. What are my options? A: The issue in your case is whether the poor performance conclusion of your supervisors renders you unable to perform the essential functions of your…

Q & A Session – Temporary Promotion

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience. Q: I moved from a nonsupervisory position to a supervisory position for about 10 months and then was returned to my original assigned position after my request. I have asked for temporary promotion pay. Should my agency pay compensation for the detail to a higher graded position? A: Because you served in a higher pay band on your detail and that would equate to a temporary promotion, it appears that your…

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