Monthly Archives: September, 2012

Q & A Session – Reduction in Pay

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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 worked 24 years at a certain base. Twenty-one of those years I worked as an engineer and attained a Senior Engineer position at a GS-13 rate. With the “sundown” of the H3 platform which I worked with, I was given the choice of being an engineer on other programs or a manager with the foreign military sales. I chose the latter. That position has now been eliminated here,…

Q & A Session – LWOP Without Notification from Agency

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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 October 2010, I submitted an application for medical/disability retirement. On March 11, 2011, my supervisor told me that I had to leave the agency within two hours because I had applied for disability retirement and that I cannot work. I was placed on LWOP on March 7, 2011, and have been until a final decision is made. This has all been done without any notification. Can I be placed…

Q & A Session – Retained Pay

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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 GS-08 employee in the federal government. Several months ago, my agency recruited employees under the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) and many recruits were brought in using the Veteran’s Recruitment Appointment (VRA). I was offered entrance into the program. I was informed that since I am currently in the government system, I would be brought in as a GS-05, step 10. I think I may have been…

Q & A Session – Administrative Nurses Request for a Compressed 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: Can management deny administrative nurses’ requests to change their work schedule to a compressed work schedule using U.S. Code 7422? A: I assume your question inquires as to whether the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs has the authority to deny administrative nurses, as a group, their request to transition to a compressed work schedule under U.S. Code Title 38 § 7422. Title 38 §§ 7421-22 grant the Secretary…

Q & A Session – VERA/VSIP Employment Restrictions

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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: VERA/VSIP both carry restrictions on reemployment within the federal government. Do those restrictions apply to jobs in the legislative and judicial branch? How about federally funded research and development centers (such as MITRE) and federally funded foundations (such as the HM Jackson foundation)? A: As you are aware, an employee who left the federal service under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) or Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (VSIP) may, upon…

Q & A Session – Annual Leave when Fired or Terminated

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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. I believe my employer may take a personnel action against me in the next couple of week that could cost me my job. If I am fired, will I still receive a lump sum payment of my annual leave or will that be forfeited to the government? A: Under Title 5, Section 5551 of the U.S. Code, you are entitled to receive a lump sum…

Q & A Session – Making Agency Comply with Recommendations of 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: In 2008, I was subject to a desk audit. The results of the audit stated that my position should be upgraded. However, an agency official disregarded the results and claimed that the human resources employees who conducted the audit were not qualified to do so, even though the audit was conducted at the direction of that same agency official. Can I compel the agency to comply with the recommendations of…

Q & A Session – LWOP Transfer

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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 spouse is in the military. I was previously employed as a part-time NF02 Recreation Assistant at an Army installation for nine months. While I held that position, my spouse received orders for a permanent change of station (PCS) to another military installation. I took three weeks of leave without pay (LWOP) as a result of the move before I found new employment at our new installation; I was again…

Q & A Session – Comp Time for AUO Employees

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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 law enforcement employee under administratively uncontrollable overtime and I am required to work two hours per day of overtime – 8 hours of normal duty and two hours of overtime covered by AUO. Sometimes I am required to attend meetings away from my official duty station. The commute and the duration of the meetings occasionally take me past ten hours of work in a day. Can I…

In filing complaint, be careful in choosing appeals process

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The Merit Systems Protection Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are independent agencies that hear and resolve employee workplace complaints. They have different but sometimes overlapping jurisdictions, and an uninformed decision about which forum to choose can sometimes lead to disappointment, unanticipated delay and a surprise about where the employee’s complaint is heard. EEOC’s mission is to eradicate illegal discrimination from the federal workplace, while the MSPB’s mission is to protect the merit system, which can include adjudicating prohibited personnel practices. Since it is a prohibited personnel practice to illegally discriminate, MSPB will also hear and decide discrimination cases…

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