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.
I am a 100% service-connected disabled veteran. For the past 11 years, I have worked as a civilian in the Air Force.
I found an opening in the Department of Transportation that I was interested in applying for. While reading over the announcement, I saw that it said, “please ensure you submit all documents including your most recent SF-50 as we use that for verification of federal employment and veterans status.” Consequently, I immediately checked my latest SF-50 and found that Block 23 noted I was a disabled veteran less than 30% disabled.
I began calling personnel at my base and finally got in touch with a personnel specialist with my command. She told me that the Air Force would not allow updates to Block 23 for appointment purposes. This is not the first mistake the Air Force has made in my record.
If I do not receive any consideration as a status candidate yet again when I submit my application to the DOT, do you think I will have grounds for filing a claim?
Do you think this refusal to correct the SF-50 is a legitimate policy? I have not found any authority supporting their claim that they will not make a correction.
I cannot comment on the merits of your specific claim. If you do file a claim for denial of a promotion, you should use the EEO system and you may be able to make out a case of perceived disability discrimination or discrimination based on your gender or some other protected category. If your records are inaccurate, you have a right under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. §552(a)) to have them corrected.
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 website do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the attorney. Information from this website is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based on information on this website without seeking specific legal advice about your particular circumstances. No attorney-client relationship between you and Ask a Lawyer’s author is created by the transmission of information to or from this site.