Monthly Archives: August, 2013

Q & A Session – TS Security Clearance Question

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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 senior in college and I have lined up a job as a consultant for a firm working with government agencies. They want me to fill out a SF-86 for TS/SSBI. I have used marijuana a total of five times, the last time occurring two years ago. Two years ago, I also tried mushrooms once. Lastly, I have two underage drinking tickets from 2011. I haven’t used anything…

Q & A Session – GS-5 Doing GS-9 Work

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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:  Is it legal to have a GS-5 do the work that a GS-9 is supposed to do? The GS-5 is not being compensated for doing the duties that the G-9 is supposed to do. A: Yes. It is not a good practice, but it is not illegal.  Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC. Disclaimer: Ask a Lawyer publishes information on this website for informational purposes…

Q & A Session – Written Warning without Explanation

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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 written up by my supervisor and not given much information about it. She stated she received complaints from other employees that I do not treat all employees the same, and that another employee reported an incident. When I asked for more detailed information, she refused to provide it. A: Since a written warning is not a formal disciplinary action, your supervisor is not required by law to provide…

Q & A Session – FMLA in Regards to Childbirth

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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 will be having my first child and becoming a father soon. Can I use FMLA intermittently? It looks like from the Department of Labor information I found, you may but it is subject to the employer’s approval. I requested to use one week of leave when the baby is born and eight additional weeks a couple of months later. I also requested an additional week months following that for…

Your rights when you are geographically reassigned

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In some parts of the federal government, geographic reassignments are a rare occurrence, even for the supposedly mobile Senior Executive Service corps. In other agencies, especially law enforcement agencies, geographic reassignments are to be expected at all grade levels and are good for career advancement. Most federal employees work in agencies where geographic reassignments do occur, but occur with varied frequency and sometimes varied motives. The varied motives that accompany some geographic reassignments include using the reassignment only to force the resignation or retirement of the employee and for no legitimate business purpose. When this happens, or when an employee…

Q & A Session – FMLA Violation?

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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 current federal employee. I have allergic asthma and was granted FMLA three weeks ago. I became ill recently and needed outpatient hospital treatment. I was scheduled for vacation the following week. Due to the severity of my asthma, my pulmonologist wrote me off work for two weeks. During these two weeks, my supervisor called to check on me and asked if I was at home. I feel…

Q & A Session – Disobeying Furlough

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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 happens when a person breaks furlough and comes into the office to use the computer for personal reasons and chat? It was stressed to all employees that they should not come into the office on their furlough days. A: If an employee was specifically directed not to come into the office during furlough, but then disobeyed that instruction, he/she may be disciplined for failure to follow that instruction.  Bill…

Q & A Session – Obamacare

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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 government employees/retirees be forced into “Obamacare”? A: Not unless Congress acts to do so. There are legislative proposals to move current federal employees onto the exchanges, but they have not moved forward. At this point in time FEHB remains intact for federal employees.  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…

Q & A Session – Losing Retirement

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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 a family member who retired from a federal prison several years ago. After they retired, they were convicted of a felony, and they are currently serving time in a state prison. What is the list of charges in which a federal employee loses their retirement? A: Federal retirees can lose their retirement when convicted of treason, espionage, sabotage and other related offenses.  Bill Bransford is managing partner of…

Q & A Session – Inadequate Documentation of Personnel Actions

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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 detailed from my current position for over 6 months without any explanation as to why. I am now in the process of returning to my position. No explanation as to this change was provided either. As a federal employee, do my supervisors have an obligation to inform me about my being detailed? A: In theory, yes. What happened to you happens frequently and there is little recourse to…

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