Monthly Archives: December, 2013

Q & A Session: Abusive Behavior From Supervisor After EEO Complaint

4

Q: I am a federal government employee with over twenty years of exceptional performance in the Department of Defense. I was verbally attacked by my supervisor. He got in my face while I was sitting down and he began yelling and pointing his finger in my face. When I reported the incident to higher leadership, it was ignored. They even attempted to remove me from the work space I have occupied for many years. It wasn’t until I filed an EEO complaint regarding the abusive hostile work environment that they moved my supervisor from the office we shared. However, my…

Q & A Session: Adverse Action v. Protected Activity Time Period

0

Q: I have a question regarding the adverse action v. protected activity time period. Is the protected activity only the filing of the formal EEO complaint or can it be activities after, such as mediation, prehearing, etc.?  A: I assume that you are referring to the inference of retaliation than can be created by the issuance of an adverse employment action (e.g. a proposed removal action or bad performance appraisal) to an employee shortly after that employee engaged in protected EEO activity. While the EEOC has not identified many discrete “protected activities,” the federal courts have acknowledged “protected activity” to…

Q & A Session: Sick Leave to Care for Another

2

Q: Can my agency ask me for information about how I am related to someone when I put in for sick leave to care for that person? A: Yes. When a federal employee requests sick leave to care for a family member, the employer agency may require the employee to document his or her relationship with that family member. But practically, this requirement is not very limiting, as the definition of “family member” in this context is broad and includes even “any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family…

Q & A Session: Retiring as a Response to a Proposed Removal?

0

Q: For the first time in my 26 year career, I am facing a dismissal for misconduct from my agency. Rather than resigning without a job prospect in sight, I am trying to see if I can retire. I am 50 with 26 years of service in the FERS system. Is it possible to retire in response to a proposed removal, or do I have to be offered retirement through a buyout? A: No, while there are special exceptions for federal employees who have spent their careers in particular types of positions, 5 U.S.C. § 8336(d)(2) generally requires federal employees…

Q & A Session: Annuity of A Percentage of a Federal Employee's Retirement

1

Q: I am a government employee who retired in 2013. My ex-wife will be receiving an annuity of 16% of my retirement. In the divorce decree there is a QDRO which stated that she is also entitled to the same percentage of survivor benefits. Our retirement councilor stated that “because she will be receiving her own annuity, she will not be entitled to a portion of my wife’s survivor benefits.” OPM has just finalized my case and has awarded her the survivor benefits and the same percentage rate as the annuity. Is this correct? A: Without a QDRO, a former…

Think before you hit the 'send' key

0

Compared to just a decade ago, so much of how we work today is digital. Emails, cloud-sharing, texting — it’s how we get the job done. Staying current in our professional and personal lives is important, but be aware that the technological push can have negative consequences if not managed correctly. When federal managers get in trouble in the digital workplace, it’s usually because of a failure to ponder a difficult, delicate or complex matter, or the result of improper personal use of government devices. Stay safe and ponder your message before you hit the “send” key. What’s it mean…