Monthly Archives: July, 2011

Proposed removal can be tricky hurdle

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A myth of federal employment is that you can resign after getting into trouble to avoid the blemish of a removal from federal service on your records. Another myth is that you can get a “clean” record as part of a negotiation on an adverse action, either at the agency or at the Merit Systems Protection Board. The reality is that the situation is far more complex, and an employee who receives a proposed removal can never receive a completely clean record, at least for some period of time. When an employee who is beyond the probationary period receives a proposed removal,…

Know the ethics rules before looking for another job

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You are looking for a job outside government, but you don’t want your current managers to know. Or you are about to retire and the company you have been working with on special projects might have a retirement job opportunity for you. Are there ethical concerns? If your job prospect has nothing to do with your federal job and no one could say that your financial interests — e.g. receiving a future salary from a company that does business at your agency — would be affected by your performance of your government job, you are free to look for a…

Q & A Session – Illegal Pay Grade Increases and Hiring Spouses

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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: Recently, a number of federal employees in my organization had their positions upgraded without advertising for their jobs and some even received large pay increases. Others were able to get their spouses hired, with one going through a direct hire without advertising the position. Do these actions violate any merit principles or federal employment laws? If they are illegal, who do I report it to? A: You have described actions…

Q & A Session – SES Position Vacancy Violation

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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 applied for an SES position. No hiring decision has been made, but someone has been hired on detail to “act” in the position and the position has been re-advertised to reflect specific credentials of the detailee. I complained to the MSPB but they said they don’t have jurisdiction. Did this violate any rule? A: The rule that governs this situation is contained at 5 U.S.C. § 2302 (b)(6). It…