Author Shaw Bransford & Roth

Shaw Bransford & Roth

Shaw Bransford & Roth provides legal representation on a wide range of employment and federal employment law issues. For more information visit us at: http://www.shawbransford.com

Q: I was removed from a federal position for off-duty misconduct. I appealed to MSPB and won for procedural violations. The agency again proposed removal and I entered a settlement agreement with clean resignation “for personal reasons.” In 2015, I applied for a position with the federal government. The OF 306 asks is I’ve been fired, or asked to resign in the last five years for any specific problems. If I say yes, the whole agreement will come up and have to be explained, but I don’t want to say no and have them think I’m falsifying. What should I say? A: As…

Q: Another coworker and I competed for a the same supervisor position, and my coworker got it. After a few months, I was transferred to another caseload and was put under that same coworker with whom I’d competed for the supervisor role. Is that legal? A: Management has the right to assign work to employee.  Nothing in the law prohibits management from assigning an employee to work underneath a supervisory position that an employee previously competed for, or from working underneath a supervisor who was previously a peer of that employee.  Thus, while it may be an uncomfortably adjustment being…

Q: If someone was arrested five years ago outside of work, and immediately put on indefinite leave of absence without pay, and then resigned a few weeks after the arrest before receiving any type of proposed removal, do you think this individual should say “Yes” to the question in Optional Form 306 today after receiving a tentative job offer from the federal government? A: You stated the arrest was five years ago, but did not indicate what happened as a result of the arrest. I am assuming you do not have a conviction, which would trigger reporting under Question 9. Question 12…

Q: After an organizational change, I was reassigned to another division. The division director asked if I would like to be moved from a 2210 IT specialist series, to a 343 Management Analyst. Can she move me to another position that is outside my current series, even though there are plenty of job openings in my current series? A: The short answer is yes, the agency may re-assign you to a different series. In general, federal agencies are permitted to re-assign employees from one position to another to promote the efficiency of the federal service. See, 5 C.F.R. § 335.102. The agency should…

Q: I am currently an engineering technician NT-04 (802-GS-12) and would like to be promoted to a 1550/801 GS-13/14 Computer Scientist. I have met all of the training and experience requirements needed for the position. The duties and responsibilities I’ve performed over the last five years have been those typically fulfilled by personnel hired as a computer scientist or general or electrical engineer at the GS-13/14 level. A: The knowledge, skills and experience you have are not something that is contingent upon the position you are in, your position description, or series. However, those skills may not be recognized and compensated for if…

Q: I’m a federal employee running in a non-partisan local election. I have not sought the endorsement or support of any political party. However, a local political party has endorsed me and put my name on their mailer. None of my campaign materials, online activities, or fundraisers has mentioned this unsolicited endorsement. Is this a violation of the Hatch Act? A: The Hatch Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 7321-7326, prohibits employees of the executive branch of the Federal government from participating in some forms of political activity. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (“OSC”) is the Federal agency responsible for investigating and administratively…

Q: I am permanently disabled and I retired in February of 2012 with regular retirement, as advised by OPM. I am low on funds, and cannot afford my medication, so I contacted OPM and asked if I can change to disability retirement. They said it’s too late, is that true? A: For employees in Federal Employees Retirement Systems (“FERS”), an application to change your retirement to disability retirement may be filed within one year of your separation from employment, so long as you did not elect an alternative form of annuity with a lump sum payment equal to your retirement contributions. For…

Q: I believe I read somewhere that the Agency cannot place a federal employee on a PIP based on the evaluation/rating of a supervisor who is no longer an employee of the agency. Is this correct? A: There are no laws or regulations precluding an agency from relying on a performance rating issued by a supervisor who has left the agency. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) only requires that the employee be under an established set of performance elements and standards for a given appraisal period, and that a supervisor have the necessary information to rate the employee. Government-wide…

Q: I am CSRS, FAA, 55, and fully eligible to retire. If there were to be a memo proposing disciplinary action (something serious like an adverse action as a huge suspension or removal), is there anything that prevents me from just retiring at that time? Or can my retirement papers be denied and I get fired? I have no disciplinary past. A: A proposal to suspend or remove a federal employee is just that: a proposal. The agency is required to grant the employee a reasonable amount of time to respond, both in writing and orally, to the proposal, and…

Q: In November 2013, I sent my local US Representative a Privacy Act Release and with a letter, I asked him to send to OPM for a letter regarding my retirement.  I did not receive a response to that letter.  I subsequently sent him additional letters to send OPM.  In these letters to OPM, I specifically stated for them to send all correspondences to me regarding my retirement.  I had been trying to get OPM to issue decisions on the type of retirement and other annuity issues.  I know once you received a decision from OPM you only have 30…