Monthly Archives: May, 2012

Q & A Session – Reasonable Accommodation for Sensitivity Syndrome

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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 diagnosed with sensitivity syndrome, and perfumes, colognes and many cleaning products make me ill. I have been working at my current location for five years and had many problems with this illness with both co-workers and management. Last week my management and safety had a meeting and stated that everyone has a right to wear anything they want and I basically have a right to not get…

Q & A Session – Bathroom Breaks

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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: Are we required to notify our supervisors regarding bathroom breaks? A: Yes, if the supervisor imposes such an expectation. 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 intended – but not promised, guaranteed, or warranted – to reflect correct, complete and current developments. In addition, the contents of the…

Q & A Session – Jurisdiction under MSPB and EEOC

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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: A case at the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is scheduled for a jurisdictional hearing after the Board reversed an administrative judge’s dismissal for lack of jurisdiction. At the same time, the case is pending appeal to the Office of Federal Operations on dismissal from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which originally dismissed the complaint because of the previous MSPB decision on jurisdiction. The filer wants to pursue the…

Q & A Session – Veterans’ Preference Reassignment

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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 a 30% or more disabled Vet and my Post Office building is downsizing. They are offering jobs to people who are about 80 miles away even though our contract for the Maintenance Craft states we cannot be relocated to farther than 50 miles. I was a mailhandler for 18 years and switched to another job two years ago due to my disability. By switching crafts, I started a…

Q & A Session – Paid 15-Minute Breaks

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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 you are a federal employee, do you have the right to leave your workplace and do an errand on a 15-minute paid break? A: No. 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 intended – but not promised, guaranteed, or warranted – to reflect correct, complete and current…

Q & A Session – Breach of Settlement Agreement

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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 filed an EEO claim against my agency based on retaliation after the agency abolished/reassigned my position. The agency and I mediated, and both parties then signed a “settlement agreement” that would return me to my prior position before the EEO claim. The day after I was supposed to return to my prior position, the agency wanted to revise the agreement. I stated that I would agree to their revisions…

Q & A Session – Workplace Accommodation of Last Resort Reassignment

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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 placed in the workplace reassignment for a disability and am a GS-12. Can I be reassigned to a GS-12/13 and go in as a 12? There are many jobs open as 12/13 where I qualify as both. I am currently in the GS-12. A: If you were a GS-12 and are now a GS-12, your promotion to a GS-13 is at the discretion of your agency. It may…

Q & A Session – DSR in Probationary Position

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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 a federal employee who is over 50 years old and has more than 20 years with the federal government. Can I qualify for a Discontinued Service Retirement if I received an unacceptable performance rating and they attempt removal from an agency and job where I was under probation as a new employee with less than one year in that job? A: Your probationary status does add a complication…

What you should know about appealing a furlough

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This article originally was first posted on this blog on May 14, 2012. We are re-posting it because of its renewed relevance to the current sequester cuts and expected furloughs. The ever-present threat for federal employees is the furlough. It is there when there is a budget showdown over a continuing resolution, and last summer, groups of Federal Aviation Administration employees were furloughed because Congress could not agree on legislation. In most cases, Congress approves back pay and everyone goes home happy, and you look back on it and say it was not such a big deal. But there is…

Q & A Session – Getting Hired for New Job While Under PIP

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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 a federal employee with over 20 years of service. I have always received at least a satisfactory appraisal and have numerous recent performance awards. A year ago, I started a new federal job and, after seven months, I received an unacceptable appraisal with a zero rating, and I was placed on a 90-day PIP. I am desperately trying to get out of a very bad job situation. If…

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