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Representing federal employees throughout the United States.

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Federal Employment and Labor Law Blog

Is discrimination based on sexual orientation legal?

It is common knowledge in the legal profession that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects employees in California and the rest of the country from workplace discrimination. Employers are banned from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, sex, national origin, color of skin, or religion.

Some smaller companies with fewer than 15 employees might not be subject to the law. However, the law is binding on organizations employing more than 15 workers, including local, state or federal governments. Still discrimination does occur in all sectors and across the spectrum of barred categories resulting in unfair disciplinary action and blocked promotions.

Depth of disability benefits depends on analyzing your case

Just like workers in any job, federal employees can suffer injuries on the job. Unlike workers in the private sector, federal employees have a number of sources for obtaining benefits for occupational disability benefits. To be sure that you receive all the help due you after an injury, a full analysis of the facts of your case should be done. This is something an experienced federal employment attorney can help with.

Generally speaking there are two programs for disability support for federal workers. Each is managed by a separate agency. That fact alone can be the source of significant confusion.

More scratching at federal employee due process rights door

It was back in 2014 that Congress and the president saw fit to take action to try to fix what was widely acknowledged as a broken accountability system in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

While hailed at the time as something needed to clean up a scandal-ridden agency, there were those, including us, who noted the bill established a precedent that was worthy of concern. And recent new action in Congress suggests those words of caution were indeed prophetic.

It's unwise to judge the Supreme Court by its apparent cover

Headlines of newspapers were ablaze last week with speculation about how the scales of justice at the Supreme Court seem to be tipping in a way that could hurt government employee unions. No matter what outlet you turned to, the line seemed the same -- Skeptical Supreme Court justices seem poised to hand public employee unions a major loss.

While such statements may attract eyeballs and readers, those who have experience watching how the Supreme Court works would likely agree such speculation can be dangerous. Very often what you hear from the justices in the courtroom setting doesn't reflect how they eventually vote.

How does the MSPB system work?

Workers in the United States have certain rights against adverse employer actions. Unfortunately, a great majority of people aren't fully aware of what those rights are or what can be done in response to apparent adverse job actions. Nor does it matter whether the person is employed in the private sector or is a federal worker.

Understanding what can be done in response to an adverse situation often requires contacting an attorney who has demonstrated skill and experience in advocating for employee rights. And this may be particularly true when a federal employee is fighting for his or her rights because the system is so complicated.

An employee’s rights under the FMLA

Anyone who has welcomed a new child or has taken care of a relative with health problems knows that sometimes work has to take a backseat to family. Congress also recognized this and passed the Family and Medical Leave Act, also known as the FMLA, more than two decades ago.

Under the FLMA, employees in all 50 states are permitted to take a certain amount of unpaid leave to take care of qualifying personal situations while having their jobs protected. This means the employee does not have to fear losing his or her job while out on leave.

What can be done to confront workplace bullying?

The concept of bullying is something that nearly every person can identify with. Most of the time it brings to mind experiences of childhood when we got picked on regularly by another kid in school or the neighborhood.

It would be nice to think that bullying behavior is something we all grow out of eventually. But such thoughts would be misguided, as a writer in Forbes recently observed. According to that article, bullying in the workplace, whether in Texas or elsewhere, is a common problem. Indeed, by the count of one survey of workers, 98 percent said that at some point in their careers they had been victims of such uncivil behavior.

Thaw in federal pay could be floating workers' boats

There's a common idiom that you may have heard. It goes, "Whatever floats your boat." It usually is used as a way to affirm that a person should do whatever makes them happy.

When it comes to federal employment in Texas and the rest of the country, one thing that has not floated a lot of workers' boats has been their pay. Some suggest that has sparked a lot of employee dissatisfaction in recent years, but maybe that is now changing.

You wouldn't think MSPB would have to taste its own medicine, but

Federal agencies are supposed to take seriously the job of protecting workers who strive to make things better by blowing the whistle on suspected wrongdoing. If a government employee in Texas or anywhere else takes the time and effort to reveal some shortcoming in the system, his or her managers are not supposed to retaliate against them by some sort of negative job action.

The Merit Systems Protection Board is there to see that worker rights are upheld. It serves as something of a judicial appeals board, providing a level of due process against employees suffering arbitrary or politically motivated abuse at the hands of higher ups. But that may beg the question, what happens if the whistleblower victim happens to be part of the MSPB?

Does alleged health fraud case pose risk to any federal workers?

Termination from a job can happen for all sorts of reasons. Some of them may be justified. But such actions have been known to happen for retaliatory purposes or as the result of an effort by higher ups in an agency to try to fend off possible repercussions from some sort of scandal.

We raised this as an issue in one post back in April. In that item we talked about the fallout that was spreading as a result of scandal that rocked the General Services Administration back in 2010. Among those who became targets of action during that situation were two officials fired by the GSA. As we noted, though, they were able to see their firings reversed. The Merit System Protection Board ruled they had been wrongfully terminated.

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