Monthly Archives: April, 2012

Q & A Session – Work Hours

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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 management direct a Fair Labor Standards Act-exempt employee to change their work hours (eight hours per day, five days per week) while on temporary duty/ Can I be given a work week with a fourteen hour day, a ten hour day, an eight hour day and two four hour days? A: Your workweek may be subject to a provision in a collective bargaining agreement, but the Fair Labor Standards…

What you need to know about the RIF process

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With all the talk about government downsizing, some employees might end up being affected by a reduction-in-force, or RIF. Hopefully, any downsizing can be accomplished through normal attrition, helped along by buyouts and early retirements. But if a RIF does happen, it is important to understand the somewhat complex system’s basic premises. The following is a brief review explaining how RIFs are conducted. An agency may only conduct a RIF for certain specific reasons: lack of work; shortage of funds; personnel ceiling adjustments; reorganization; the exercise of re-employment or job restoration rights; or the reclassification of an employee’s position due…

Q & A Session – Off-Duty Conduct and Discipline

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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 an 1811 and was arrested off duty for a DWI in my personal vehicle. I was wondering what to expect as far as my job goes. I have never been in trouble at work and have no criminal record other than this occurrence. I have been told different things, like my job is safe, etc. I know it has happened before in my office and they did nothing…

Q & A Session – Survivor’s Benefits

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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 married to a former federal employee for 21 years who is now deceased. I was awarded survivor’s benefits in my divorce. I applied for survivor’s benefits with OPM, which has been denied several times. I submitted an appeal with MSPB, and OPM requested MSPB to dismiss my case. The denial is because I remarried prior to age 55, however, this marriage was annulled. In the CSRS Handbook, it…

Q & A Session – Bill that would Eliminate FERS Supplement

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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: Was the bill passed that would discontinue the FERS Supplement for annuitants already receiving FERS and FERS Supplement? Is this bill intended for new employees under FERS? A: The bill has not yet passed, but it is still pending in Congress. Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC. Disclaimer: Ask a Lawyer publishes information on this website for informational purposes only. Information on this website is…

Q & A Session – Proving Reprisal

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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 worked at an administrative office that managed several programs and reported to upper management. I was being harassed by one of the ladies in the unit, and I filed an EEO complaint. Within a week I was transferred out to work at a detention center. My duties were also removed and now I am answering public calls all day. I filed a retaliation claim naming my first line all…

Q & A Session – Minimally Successful Job Rating

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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 just received a minimally successful job rating. Does that mean I can’t get another federal job? A: It means you can, for now, keep your current job, but you may not receive within grade increases. Other agencies may legally hire you but they might choose to pass you by when they see your most recent rating. Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC. Disclaimer: Ask…

Q & A Session – FCIP Retroactive Demotion

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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 hired in July 2007 under the FCIP and was injured on the job. After my knee surgery, I was deemed physically disqualified from going back to my former position as an IEA. Ten days before my two-year probationary period ended, the Deputy Field Office Director offered and I accepted a position as an assistant. In October 2010, the agency gave me a Settlement Agreement, but I had issues…

Q & A Session – Exempt from Paying Social Security?

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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 my CSRS retirement from the government, can I legally opt out of paying Social Security in future employment endeavors? I will retire with 40 years of military time, and due to my secondary employment I have held throughout the years, my CSRS gross will be $86,0000, nullifying any Social Security benefit for which I may be entitled. I intend to seek other work and do not want to pay…

Q & A Session – Staggered AWOL

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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: In 2011, I exhausted all my sick and annual leave and took FMLA leave. Shortly after I returned to work, I was issued a leave letter and was told any leave in the future would be charged to AWOL, unless a family member or I was in the hospital. I had filed an EEO complaint and had an informal meeting, unfortunately because I was sick I failed to file a…

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