Monthly Archives: October, 2012

Q & A Session – Supervisory Training

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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 held the same position for approximately six years. I have attended periodic training that is pertinent to my job. Two years ago, I got a new supervisor who is being career laddered into the position. She has been scheduled to take the same training that I have taken, but has canceled every time she is registered. This isn’t her entire job, but she is ultimately responsible for the…

Age discrimination versus mandatory retirement

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Most federal employees have a sense that discrimination based on age is illegal. If that’s true, why do most law enforcement officers and firefighters have a mandatory retirement age, usually 57, and most air traffic controllers face mandatory retirement at age 56? Congress passed laws both prohibiting age discrimination for most federal employees and requiring mandatory retirement based on age for limited occupations. A review of the rules is helpful to understand how these seemingly contradictory principles can co-exist. The age discrimination ban is intended to prevent employers from favoring younger employees at the expense of employees older than 40…

Q & A Session – Retirement and New Job Following RIF

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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 received a Reduction in Force in October 2011. I am 55 years old and have been verbally offered a job in Arizona. I am still waiting for the documented offer. The wage grade I retired from was WG-10. The new wage grade I am sure will be lower with a different locality pay. My present retirement income is $1,300 a month. Will I be subject to a pay reduction?…

Q & A Session – FMLA Coverage

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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 federal employees who are stationed overseas eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act coverage? A: Yes. 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…

Q & A Session – Performance Objectives

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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 supervisor at an Army medical clinic in charge of numerous civilian employees. After a recent HR issue, I was instructed to remove objectives involving “behaviors” from the employee appraisals, even though the evaluation report used by the Army requires ratings for “working relationships and communications” and “responsibility and dependability.” Is there any specific guidance regarding the scope, content and structure of performance objectives measured in annual employee…

Q & A Session – Loss of Pay from Temporary Assignment from NSPS to GS Conversion

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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: Section 1113(c)(1) of The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2010 requires that no employee shall suffer any loss of or decrease in pay due to conversion from NSPS. Does this apply if, while on NSPS, the employee received a management direct reassignment and was compensated for their performance with base salary increases? My leadership informed me that I was not entitled to pay increases I received during my…

Q & A Session – NSPS to GS Conversion

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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 a GS-13 and accepted a promotion in August 2006 to NH-04 under the Acquisition Demo civilian management system. NH-04 was a pay band of GS-14 through GS-15. Later on, I was put into the NSPS as a YA-03 which had the same pay band as a NH-04. The primary reason I accepted the promotion and the job was because of the chance to earn up to GS-15 Step…

Q & A Session – Resume Rated Ineligible

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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 application for federal employment was rated ineligible because my resume did not state hours worked per week at each job. I had the title, location and the month and year I started and the month and year I left the position. Can they rate me ineligible because I did NOT state hours worked per week in each position on my resume? A: What is unclear is whether the job…

Q & A Session – Workmen’s Compensation

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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 requested accommodation of an electric stapler due to carpal tunnel syndrome and also started occupation therapy. It took five months for the agency to agree to the request and then the therapy failed since I was doing the same repetitive tasks. I now have to take off work for surgery. My question is whether I could be paid for my time off work under workmen’s compensation. A:…

Improving whistle-blower protection

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For years, advocates have argued that federal-sector whistle-blowers lack meaningful protection. This is primarily because of decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit — the court that reviews Merit Systems Protection Board decisions — limiting the definition of what it means to be a whistle-blower. For example, under current law, you are not a whistle-blower if you merely point out wrongdoing to your misbehaving supervisor. Also, if your job requires you to report wrongdoing and you just do your job, you are not a whistle-blower. Thus, in both of these examples, an employee who reports wrongdoing…

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