Monthly Archives: January, 2011

Q & A Session – Appealing to MSPB after Discontinued Service Retirement

0

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 received a notice of proposed removal for poor performance after a PIP, however, I was informed that I meet basic eligibility for discontinued service retirement. If I elect to retire under discontinued service, do I give up my right to file an appeal with MSPB? A: An employee who is separated for poor performance after a PIP under the procedures on chapter 43 of Title 5 is entitled to…

Q & A Session – Termination for Filing a Complaint

1

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 filed a discrimination complaint and am in the discovery process. Can I be fired for filing an EEOC complaint? A: It is illegal retaliation to fire someone solely because he or she has filed a discrimination complaint. The burden of proof is on the person claiming discrimination. In other words, you must be able to overcome or disprove the legitimate reason an agency will undoubtedly provide for a removal…

Q & A Session – Court Order Allocating Retirement Benefit

0

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 a CSRS employee and looking to retire next year. I am divorced and wanted to know how to find out if I have any court judgments filed against my federal retirement? A: A court order can allocate a retirement benefit from the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) as a result of a divorce.  The court order must expressly direct the U. S.…

Q & A Session – Compensatory Time Off

0

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: Is an employee entitled to compensatory time for hours worked above the normal tour of duty of eight hours after arriving at a TDY site? A: An employee on a TDY is only entitled to compensatory time off “for time in a travel status away from the employee’s official duty station when the travel time is not otherwise compensable.”  5 C.F.R. § 55.1401 (emphasis added); see 5 C.F.R. § 550.1403…

Weigh Douglas Factors in disciplinary cases

1

Managers dealing with problem employees and employees facing potential disciplinary actions should be aware of the Douglas Factors, 12 standards developed by the Merit Systems Protection Board to decide the appropriateness of a penalty for misconduct or other actions that are taken because of the “efficiency of the service.” Most managers who have proposed or decided an adverse action have been briefed on the Douglas Factors. Others may not be aware of the Douglas Factors, but should be so they can more effectively determine how to use such managerial tools as progressive discipline. The Douglas Factors get their name from a…

Q & A Session – Failure to Follow Instructions

0

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: What constitutes a “failure to follow instructions?” If someone missed a marking on a container, could that be a “failure to follow instructions?” A: It depends on whether noting the marking on a container was a part of the instructions. In the federal civil service, a charge such as “failure to follow instructions” may be proved by evidence of what the instructions stated along with evidence that the employee failed…

Q & A Session – Family Separation Allowance Entitlement

0

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 a civilian employee and am required to attend mandatory training for three months at a location far away from my home. My meals, lodging and travel expenses are covered. Am I entitled to Family Separation Allowance or any other compensation for TDY? A: No.  Family Separation Allowance is not available for civilian employees; rather, Family Separation Allowance is only payable to active-duty service members with dependents away from…

Q & A Session – Qualifying for a Per Diem Rate

0

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 can a federal employee qualify for a per diem? A: For a federal employee to qualify for a per diem, he/she must be on official travel away from their official duty station.  The “official duty station” means the geographic area surrounding an employee’s regular work site that is the same as the area designated by the employing agency for the purpose of determining whether travel time is compensable for…