Browsing: Employment

Q: I was recently 57 minutes late to work. I thought I was scheduled at a different time than I was. I got suspended because it was my 3rd write up. The other two were over 6 months ago. My doctor is willing to write a letter and fill out paperwork because I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). I really want to keep this job and I know I messed up. Do you think this is a valid argument? A: If you are asking whether you can argue that you should be afforded on hour of leave per the Family…

If you’re in an agency that places employees on forced leave, beware: The law has changed, and how the Merit Systems Protection Board will adjudicate an appeal of such actions has dramatically shifted. A Postal Service supervisor for customer services submitted a request to work on light-duty assignment. The employee’s supervisor denied her request on the grounds that, within the employee’s medical restrictions, there was no work available. The USPS then proposed and issued a final decision effecting the enforced leave action. The employee appealed the decision to the board, but an MSPB administrative judge dismissed the appeal finding that…

Q: How can you fight unfair treatment when it is not discrimination based? A: You could raise the issue with your supervisor. If your supervisor’s actions are what you find to be unfair, your agency’s grievance process may cover a grievance of unfair treatment. You would need to review your agency’s grievance procedures to see if your specific matter is covered. Also, depending on the unfair treatment, you could file a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) if it involves a violation of the Civil Service Reform Act (prohibited personnel practices), the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Hatch Act,…

A few months ago, I wrote on the topic of how most federal employees who are disciplined for publicly speaking out are found not to have a First Amendment protection on their speech. I also noted that a case was pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that might be a game changer. I’m back to report on the result. First, a refresher on the state of the law as it stood before the Supreme Court ruled last month. Thirty years ago, the Supreme Court recognized that public employees, like all citizens, enjoy a constitutionally protected interest in freedom of speech.…

It’s been about one year from the furloughs of 2013, and the Merit Systems Protection Board is making progress processing the approximate 32,400 appeals it received. That’s right, 32,400 employee appeals challenging their furloughs. That number is jaw-dropping when you consider that the MSPB has been averaging about 8,500 appeals annually before furloughs. With a furlough docket of that size, it is worth acknowledging a furlough decision. In sum, no surprises. This board decision, Dye v. Department of the Army, involved a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) employee who was furloughed for six days from his cConstruction cControl position.…

Federal employees who have challenged adverse job actions on First Amendment grounds regularly fail. Why is that, and could a case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court be a game-changer? Thirty years ago, the Supreme Court recognized that public employees, like all citizens, enjoy a constitutionally protected interest in freedom of speech. However, according to the court, public employee free speech rights must be balanced against the need of government agencies to exercise “wide latitude in managing their offices, without intrusive oversight by the judiciary in the name of the First Amendment.” For employees who faced a job action…