Monthly Archives: March, 2012

Q & A Session – Telework Productivity Log

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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 work for an agency that utilizes telework. My supervisor, while allowing us to telework, requires that on telework days, we complete two locally created telework-record logs which must be submitted on a weekly basis. No one is required to complete these while on travel status or when working in the office, and as far as I’ve been able to tell, no one else in the agency does this. Since…

Q & A Session – EARS Review

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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: Why can my supervisor perform an EARS review with me when I have an EEO complaint against him for harassment and employment demotion without written approval and consent? Needless to say, the EARS review did not go well. A: I assume EARS is your agency’s performance evaluation system. If so, your supervisor must evaluate your performance without regard to the existence of your EEO complaint. You are protected from reprisal,…

Q & A Session – Pay Grade Differences

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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: What is used to determine pay grades in the GS system, when throughout the system I have been told that similar job descriptions at various locations in the same area and throughout the United States have different GS levels for the same job? A: OPM has a very detailed and obtuse classification guide. The guide is based on broader standards set by Congress about what level of activity should be…

Q & A Session – Working at Higher Grade Level

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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 been working at the next higher pay grade for the past 11 months to fill a vacancy without being temporarily promoted to that position.  Basically, I have been performing all of the tasks associated with the higher grade without getting paid for that pay grade. I recently received an end-of-year evaluation indicating my performance at the higher grade, but again, I have not been temporarily promoted to that…

Q & A Session – Reprisal/Retaliation Following EEO Complaint

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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 as a probationary employee because I filed an EEO complaint against management. Soon after, I was terminated. Management cited performance and conduct issues, of which I had none. During the informal stage, management stated that they had known that an EEO complaint was out there against them, but they did not know who filed the complaint. Although I highly doubt that they actually did not know,…

Q & A Session – Change of Work Schedule

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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 supervisor claims he can change my work schedule anytime he wants, provided he notifies me in writing at least two pay periods in advance. For at least 15 years, I always worked 5 days a week for a total of 40 hours per work week. April through October, I have worked weekends with two days off during the week. November through March, I have had weekends off. Recently, my…

Q & A Session – Cancellation of Previously Approved Annual 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: I requested annual leave several months ago in writing (not required by my agency) and my boss has now asked me to cancel the previously approved leave. I already have airline and train tickets purchased for my trip and the trip insurance will not cover the expenses because this is not a military deployment or permanent change of station. What are my rights? A: Management has the right to cancel…

Q & A Session – Transfer of Function

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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 office of a handful of overseas GS technicians has been replaced by contractors who are earning 2-3 times what the GS workers earned. The agency has accomplished this mostly by attrition, by choosing not to extend the GS workers beyond their overseas tours of 5 years, even though they routinely obtained waivers in the past. The remaining GS workers have been forced on PPP, with essentially no responsibilities or…

Q & A Session – Can Supervisors Require Attendance at Holiday Luncheon?

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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: Can a supervisor require mandatory attendance to a Christmas luncheon at an expensive restaurant the cost of $45.00/plate paid by the agency employee plus a $20.00 gift? I do not believe that a supervisor can require subordinates to use personal funds on the mandatory attendance to the restaurant just because she so desires. A: A supervisor cannot mandate attendance at a lunch that you pay for or require you to…

Q & A Session – Rights to Retraining after Facility Closes

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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 employed at a laundry for the Veterans’ administration. We have been understaffed for many months and were recently notified of the closing of the facility. My concern is whether or not we have any rights to retraining or any other methods of assisting us in finding viable employment in the federal system. A: If your facility is closed, your agency may reassign you to another facility, or it…

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