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

"Service those who serve in government"

Call now for a free consultation


Exclusively Representing Federal Employees Nationwide

Main Menu

Representing federal employees throughout the United States.

Firm Overview
Practice Areas

Federal Employment Labor Law Blog

Pay gap for women still exists for federal employees

Equal pay for equal work has been in the news this month, with the issuance of two executive orders by the president to address the issue of gender pay equity. It seems unexceptional to argue that workers doing the same work with similar experience should earn the same salary. For decades, there was a significant gap between male and female workers.

Some of this pay inequity in the past was explained by women having less experience and being concentrated in low-pay clerical and minor administrative roles. However, some of it was explained by outright pay discrimination. Today, the Office of Personnel Management reports that the gap in 2012 was at 12.7, as compared to 30 percent in 1992.

Sensitive designation cases: no appeal to MSPB

In legal proceedings, an important issue is the level of review. Because hearing officers, administrative law judges and courtroom judges all make mistakes, the forum or entity that may hear appeals is significant. In some cases, it if is determined that there is no appeal from a decision, that decision becomes absolute, no matter what errors or flaws it contains.

For federal employees who have suffered some form of an adverse job action, whether discipline, a demotion or removal, in most cases can appeal their agencies decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). 

Yes, that would be sexual harassment

A case this week that was notable did not involved a federal employee or any administrative ruling by the Merit Systems Protection Board, but we thought it notable in how clearly it highlights some of the common problems that give rise to sexual harassment claims in the employment context.

This case involved a restaurant worker, who had worked for the company about a month when a coworker found explicit nude images of the woman and displayed them to the woman's coworkers and supervisors. The lawsuit alleges this was done to harass her.

MSPB struggles to cope with furlough appeals

The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) has released its strategic plan for the next few fiscal years and it outlines some of the challenges facing the agency. Perhaps the largest and most critical has been dealing with the fallout from budget sequestration and furloughs of last year.

The crush of work from that event has overwhelmed the capacity of the MSPB. In a typical year, they process about 6,000 appeals involving adverse job actions, the merit systems and prohibited personnel practices. Over the last year, the MSPB received approximately 38,000 appeal requests, of which 32,000 are attributed to furloughs.

MSPB orders reinstatement and back pay of GSA official

The General Services Administration (GSA) Western Regions Conference scandal was a political embarrassment for the agency. It led to high-level resignations and a political uproar from members of Congress decrying the profligate spending that the agency engaged in when setting up a conference in Las Vegas.

When an agency faces a scandal like this, much like the famous line from Casablanca, they often react by rounding up the usual suspects and firing them. While these types of politically motivated mass executions may satisfy the critics of federal employees, they often fail to be evidence-based and those who may have had little or nothing to do with a situation often suffer adverse job actions or, as here, wrongful termination.

Supervisor's management error triggers retaliation

Retaliation cases are often complex because of the inherent contradiction of the situation, where an employee is punished ostensibly for some legitimate disciplinary reason, but in fact, is being punished because a supervisor or manager, in essence, decides to "get even" with the employee, often for entirely personal reasons.

For employees, the experience can become a horrific hall-of-mirrors, where they are subjected to adverse job actions or disciplinary proceedings at virtually every turn. In a recent case, an investigator from NOAA was instructed investigate a fellow employee of NOAA. This was request was outside the job description of the position. The investigator was later denied a promotion, purportedly due to his conferring during the investigation with the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office.

Court agrees with MSPB that grade reduction not punishment

Is a five-grade demotion from a GS-12 to a GS-7 a second punishment for a Deportation Officer who had been given a two-week suspension for lying to police after they investigated the "appearance" of a refrigerator at his home? According to opinions of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the answer is, no.

The man was an employee of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and worked as a Deportation Officer. In 2008, he apparently arranged to purchase a refrigerator using someone else's employee discount. He told police that it "appeared" at his home and later admitted that he had set up the deal using an employee's discount. This led to a "lack of candor" charge, which resulted in a removal action. 

Federal unions advertise to promote federal workers

Federal employees have been under attack for the last few years. From the extremes of the actual government shut down, to the longer-lasting effects of the sequestration and furloughs, budget cuts, hiring and pay freezes, to the general projection from many politicians and the media that the federal government is too large and too expensive, the outlook for federal employees has rarely been less attractive.

The difficulty for many federal employees is that this is occurring at time when the situation for labor in general is at a nadir. Union membership throughout the American workforce is low, and the economic recovery of the last few years has brought few jobs. By comparison, to many part-time, minimum wage jobs, federal pay and benefits may appear very generous.

What happens with a missed filing deadline?

We are all familiar with the concept of deadlines. Our supervisor or boss may tell us we must a certain project or task completed by a specific date, or we tell our kids they must have their room clean by the end of the day. Moreover, while they all may be called deadlines, we know that some deadlines are more important than others.

A deadline for an application to summer soccer camp may be less critical than an application for college admittance. If you have been subjected to an adverse job action, discrimination or other disciplinary actions at your federal agency, you may need to file an appeal with Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) or an Equal Employment Opportunity office, and there is always a deadline. 

More federal employees may soon retire

Being an employee of the federal government does not appear to be getting any easier. In the last few years, we have seen a consistent pattern of behavior from Congress and the media that suggests we do not need as many federal employees, and denigrating the work they do.

There have been ongoing freezes to hiring within government agencies, freezes to pay raises, step and grade adjustments, the fiscal cliff, sequestration and the government shut down. And now comes word that more than one-third of federal workers could be eligible to begin receiving their retirement benefits by 2017.

Free Case Evaluation:

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

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.


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