Monthly Archives: December, 2010

Q & A Session – Listing a Foreign Associate on SF-86

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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 am in a long distance relationship with a foreigner, but did not put him down on my SF-86 under the question related to foreign associates, as I did not understand the question correctly. During my personal interview, I asked for clarification and was forthcoming with all details pertaining to my relationship with the person. Will this result in a denial of my clearance because it was not listed initially?…

Q & A Session – Losing a Government Annuity

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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: If a federal employee who has worked for the government for over 20 years loses his or her security clearance and is forced to leave the position, will the employee lose his or her FERS or CSRS annuity? A: No, not necessarily. The only basis for a federal employee to lose an annuity is a conviction for crimes related to treason, espionage or sabotage. The simple loss of a clearance,…

Q & A Session – Grade Increase After Minimally Successful Performance Appraisal

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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: If a federal employee receives a grade increase to the next career ladder grade immediately following a minimal successful performance appraisal, what action should be taken by management/human resources to address and correct the issue? A: The situation you described sounds like a major ball dropping of a well thrown pass. Once an appointment (promotion to a higher grade level) is made by an authorized appointing authority it cannot be…

Q & A Session – Forcing Retirement

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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: If someone has been with the government for over 25 years but is only in his or her late forties, can the government force the employee to retire due to cut backs in positions? A: No one can make you retire. However, it is possible that your position can be abolished, which could subject you to release based on a reduction-in-force. If you are RIFFED, your service makes you eligible…

Q & A Session – Termination Because Unable to Complete Training Program

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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 recently terminated because I was unable to complete the training program for the position I was hired for under the Federal Career Intern Program. I had requested a reasonable accommodation after being diagnosed with a disease. What are my options? A: Each case is different. Whether you are entitled to a reasonable accommodation or subjected to discrimination because of your disability can be ascertained eventually by use of…

Q & A Session – Reporting Sick Leave Fraud

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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: How do I anonymously and safely report a fellow employee for suspected sick leave/continuation of pay fraud? A: You can file an anonymous complaint online with the U.S.P.S. OIG Investigations Hotline, which receives information from employees, customers and the general public for reporting fraud, waste, and misconduct. To file anonymously, visit: https://www.uspsoig.gov/hotlinenewforms.cfm. Another option to report suspected fraud or violations relating to any DOL program is through the DOL OIG…

In the season of giving, know federal rules

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During the holiday season, gift giving occurs as a natural part of social relationships. For example, it is not unusual to be invited to a holiday party and to bring a bottle of wine as a gift to the host. But can a federal employee do that if the party’s host is the boss? The answer is yes — if the bottle of wine is a hospitality customarily provided by the employee to personal friends. But beware: Subordinates’ gifts to bosses ordinarily are taboo, and a gift such as a bottle of wine at a holiday party, while allowed in…