Monthly Archives: July, 2012

Q & A Session – 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: I am receiving the FERS supplement. I retired in 2006 at the age of 55. I was considered law enforcement. The supplement ends the month before age 62 (when I am eligible for Social Security benefits). Since I was “forced” to retire because of my law enforcement status, I would like to know if there are any provisions to extend the FERS supplement to age 66 (when I receive full…

Q & A Session – Resign or be Fired

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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 called into the office late on Friday afternoon and was informed I had to resign by Monday at noon or be fired. The local union advised me to resign. I was informed that I was ineligible for any rehire at the agency. My SF50 says that I resigned for personal reasons. Since I am ineligible for rehire at the agency, is it a waste of time to consider…

Q & A Session – Getting Rehired after Misdemeanor Charge

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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 resigned from the federal government in 2011 after being charged with a misdemeanor for unauthorized computer access to prevent being terminated. I have been fully rehabilitated and have completed my one year probation for which I was sentenced for the offense. Do you think I can get rehired with the federal government again? I just applied for a lower grade position with another federal agency. I’m concerned the past…

Q & A Session – Missing a Doctor’s Appointment

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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 a federal agency. I had scheduled a doctor’s appointment last week but had to cancel twice because of management. The second time, I had told them I had a doctor’s appointment and that the additional duties they requested I complete outside my normal work hours would cause me to be late for my appointment, but management refused to let me complete the duties another day. Can management…

Q & A Session – Remedies for False Allegations of Discrimination

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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: False allegations of discrimination have been made against me by an employee I supervise. She made the allegations prior to mid-year evaluations – which I provide as the rating official. What are my remedies? Can I sue her? Who do I complain to? A: Your remedies are limited. Please see my Ask the Lawyer column EEO Complaints Rough on Managers, but Being Part of Process Helps. You are best advised…

What to do when facing a congressional investigation

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Congress has always had oversight of the executive branch. Lately, it seems that this oversight function has operated more frequently and with greater intensity. And the political scapegoating of career employees appears to be at an all-time high. So what can you do if you find your federal career has become a target for a congressional investigation? In a congressional oversight investigation, you have a right to counsel and a right to plead the Fifth Amendment if your testimony can incriminate you. Beyond that, your ability to avoid, influence or control a congressional investigation is limited and largely controlled by…

Q & A Session – Should I do a Desk Audit?

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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 assigned additional duties and am doing the responsibilities of 1.5 employees. I have proved my case statistically, comparing my workload to same positions. Is it worthwhile to have a desk audit to ask for additional staff or to be compensated for the additional workload? A: Desk audits carry risks. They tend to be conservative and cognizant of upward grade creep that has occurred in many agencies. While…

Q & A Session – Liability for Activity on Federal Property Outside of Working 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: I have become aware of a civilian employee who comes to work about an hour early in order to use the shower in our federal building. She is not on the clock or compensated for this time. If she is on federal property outside of working hours and is somehow injured, who is liable? Also, are there any federal regulations that state employees may not be at their place of…

Q & A Session – Benefits to Joining Armed Services/National Guard Reserve Unit

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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 are the benefits, if any, to current USPS/federal employees who wish to join an Armed Services/National Guard Reserve Unit. Can one create an initial enlistment (Basic Training and Qualifying School) and return to work under the same status as when before they left…versus one who has prior service skills who rejoins at his/her liberty as a Reservist and has no effect to pay or seniority. What would be required…

Q & A Session – Employer Disclosing Medical/Private Information

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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 informed that my employer told a co-worker of mine that “I must be sad/mad that she is pregnant because I cannot have any kids.” Three years ago, I disclosed in private to my employer that I will be having surgery regarding my reproductive organs due to a recent illness. Never once did I say I could not have kids. Is there anything I can do? A: Can you…

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