Q & A Session – Award Money


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.


Our agency has not given out our award money since October 2011, which is a clear violation of our contract which states that the award money should be paid expeditiously. The union alleges that the money has been allocated but not dispersed to the employees. Where can I file my complaint on this clear violation of our contract?


Your union files the complaint. If they think the collective bargaining agreement has been violated, it can file a grievance. However, these are tough times for federal employees and agencies and there may just be no award money.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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  1. Please don’t believe that not having any funding is a legitimate excuse not to pay “owed” monetary awards! These folks came to work every day and there was never a party or even cupcakes! Surely they deserve an award for simply taking the job in the first place!!

  2. For a chance I agree with the commentors here. I am a little shocked by the greed behind this question. Monetary awards are not a right. They should not be EXPECTED each December as if they were Christmas Bonuses. They are a reward just as those are that are given in the civilian community for superior performance. Going above and beyond in your daily duties is what it takes in my office to receive one of these. Frankly, if you were standing there every year looking for your award bonus for just coming to work, I would place something nice and pink in it instead and find someone who really wanted to WORK.

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