The Devadoss Law Firm, P.L.L.C.

"Serving those who serve in government"

Call now for a free consultation

888-351-0424

Exclusively Representing Federal Employees Nationwide

Main Menu

Representing federal employees throughout the United States.

Firm Overview
Practice Areas

Federal Employment and Labor Law Blog

Changes still in progress at the VA health system

The Veterans' Affairs Department has been rocked by the hospital scheduling scandal and other issues connected to providing health care to the nation's veterans. Clearly, the manipulation of the scheduling of veteran's medical appointments was dangerous for the veterans and an unacceptable method management.

Congress, in its infinite wisdom, has reacted with a flurry of new laws and bills, all intended to force change and punish wrongdoing. All of that is fine in the abstract, but more difficult in the particular. Because it is likely, at the core of the issue, it is Congresses fault that the scandal developed in the first place.

What is due process?

And why is it important? Due process is shorthand for all of the procedural requirements that occur in litigation. You expect that when you are accused of "wrongdoing," that you will have an opportunity to defend yourself. Within the federal employment system, due process is relatively elaborate, and while politicians whine when expedient about the difficulty in firing federal workers, there are thousands of terminations that occur every year to federal workers.

It in only in juxtaposition to the virtually nonexistent due process rights of most American workers that the federal employee's due process rights appear extravagant. Most workers in the U.S. are considered "at will," meaning an employer may fire them at any time for any reason, as long as it is not an illegal, discriminatory reason. 

Who really believes this to be a good idea?

Politicians, especially those who know they have no chance of winning their party's nomination, may say things and make proposals that are unlikely to become real. In today's news, a former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina, announced a bid for the Republican Party's presidential nomination.

One proposal was truly notable. The NY Times reports she feels the "federal work force is too large and says she would cut the pay of federal workers and base their compensation on performance." Really? The statement is remarkable in many ways. 

Does an old proverb describe the VA?

There is an old saying that, "A fish rots from the head down." It is often used against politicians and governments, but it applies to any organization with "leadership." It implies that when things go wrong, it is not the low-level employees who cause the problem, but the executives in charge.

After all, executives' role is to see that a job, whatever it a may be, is executed. When the job is done poorly or not at all, a significant part of the blame lies with those empowered with organizing and implementing the operation necessary to complete a job. The Veterans' Affairs scheduling scandal has highlighted the deficiencies with the VA's management of aspects of their programs.

Moving patients inherently dangerous for nurses' backs

Workers in hospitals face many challenges. They are exposed to a wide variety of potential infections from diseases that range from common to exotic. They often work rotating schedules and overnight hours. And they have to deal with the stress of literally working in life and death situations.

But for many nurses and orderlies, the greatest danger to their health maybe from what might be dismissed as a simple task; that of moving patients in and out of beds and chairs. Yet this common task can cause severe, debilitating back and spinal injuries leaving nurses and other workers unable to function, forcing them to resort to the workers' compensation system and often leaving them out of a job.

Former GSA official takes plea in fraud case

The repercussions from the General Services Administration 2010 Las Vegas convention scandal continue, with a plea bargain from one former administrator who had been indicted on a fraud charge. The lavish conference, which generated expenses greater than $800,000, led to the resignation of the head of the agency in 2012.

Numerous other top-level officials within the GSA were punished as a result of the scandal and the agency was tarnished by the allegations of out-of-control spending during the recession. The official who pled guilty to a charge of requesting reimbursement for a nights stay in a Vegas resort that had nothing to do with any work related activities. He also admitted to other abuses of his position and false claims during his time at the GSA.

Who's got your back?

Working as a nurse is hard work. And it is ironic, that as primary healthcare providers, some nurses work so hard that they destroy their own health. Many of those nurses are federal employees working in the many Veterans Affairs hospitals around the country.

The cause of the damage to the nurses is not some exotic tropical disease, like Ebola, or even more common contagious illnesses that are often found in hospitals. No, the most damaging work most nurses perform is doing the heavy lifting of patients. Day in and day out, they must lift patients from beds and chairs into wheelchairs or gurneys. 

Don't turn a win into a loss

During litigation on any matter, you may win the case, and have the judge approve your argument or you may settle a case with your opponents. The terms of the court order or the settlement are important. They may create obligations on both parties to the litigation and may require you to take specific steps or actions.

If you fail to adhere to those obligations can lead to your agreement becoming set aside and made no longer enforceable. Such was the case with a woman who worked for the U.S. Army. She was subjected to a removal action and appealed her removal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

"I did what was right"

Federal employees are often given portrayed in a bad light. They are unmotivated, simply marking time until they retire. Many of the federal programs they are responsible for draw complaints regarding their expense, the amount of red-tape they generate and their lack of effectiveness.

But often these characterizations are cherry-picked and anecdotal. On the whole, much of the work of the maligned federal bureaucracy is absolutely essential. From the FAA managing the nation's air traffic control system, to the collection of taxes by the IRS, the Department of Agriculture's inspection of the food supply and the federal courts adjudication of thousands of lawsuits, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracking down disease outbreaks, residents of the U.S. would see radical, and not necessarily improved, living conditions if the federal bureaucracy stopped doing its job. 

Beware the stick man

In argumentation, one famous form is known as the "stick man." This is an argument where an often simple scenario is laid out and then easily knocked down by the proponent of the opposing view. Hence, the name stick man, because the argument topples over as easy as a stick man would.

Attacks on federal civil service job protections often take this form. One or two anecdotal experiences are conflated into the entire federal civil service. A story frames the discussion of the difficulty of firing federal workers as one of "red tape."

Free Case Evaluation:

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Client Testimonials:

  • "The Devadoss Law Firm has to be the best kept secret in the State of Texas, and I cannot imagine a person with a legal concern not using them. This firm and its personnel were caring, and administered my case professionally."
  • "Bobby knew how to deal with the federal government and its bureaucracy. The firm charged me reasonable fees for its services and got me the results that I was seeking in my case. "
  • "I was wrongfully terminated and this law firm helped me get my job back. Bobby Devadoss always kept me informed about the status of my case and he got me the results that I was seeking in my case."
Client Testimonials
Back to Top