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What are my options when challenging disciplinary action?

Working for the government is not like working for a private sector company. There are some who would like to see that change, and perhaps over time some of the conditions that currently separate the two fields may be adjusted. For now, however, the distinctions exist.

Those with solid experience in employment law would likely agree that the one factor that divides government work from most other jobs is that employees enjoy particular rights of due process. These have their roots in the U.S. Constitution and Congress decided to apply them as a way to reduce political influences and promote more efficient conduct of government business.

Federal workers: Mixing politics and Twitter could mean trouble

Ever since the Hatch Act of 1939, federal workers have had curbs on the things they can do and say regarding their personal political opinions. In general terms, the law limits the role of nonelected government employees in political campaigns.

The law may be well intentioned. It's easy for the line between government work and politics to blur and the law is meant to ensure government insiders don't have undue influence over the outcomes of elections.

Justice after OWCP denials may well require dogged persistence

Surf the web to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs and you learn that the agency's declared mission is "to protect the interests of workers who are injured or become ill on the job, their families and their employers." It says it looks to accomplish that mission through "timely, appropriate and accurate decisions on claims." There's also an affirmation for providing prompt benefit payments.

It doesn't always work that way. As anyone in Texas or any other state with experience in dealing with the OWCP is likely to attest, denial of a claim is not uncommon. Appeals are available. But with each step taken, it can seem like you are treading deeper and deeper into a sea of rejection from which there is no rescue.

Unshakable stereotypes likely to mean ongoing age discrimination

Age discrimination in the job market is against the law. It's as simple as that. In 1967, the federal Age Discrimination Employment Act made it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers 40 years and over. Does that mean that it never happens; of course not.

Back in 2013, AARP conducted a survey of more than 1,500 adult U.S. workers. Two thirds of those between the age of 45 and 74 said then that they had either suffered age discrimination or knew someone who had. And last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that it received 20,588 ageism claims. And legal observers say it's only going to get worse in the years ahead.

Fired House panel investigator claims politics cost him his job

Let's face it, office politics have been around forever. Some might even argue that the tempting in the Garden of Eden amounted to just such a ploy on the part of the serpent. But in government employment, except for the very highest positions, politics isn't supposed to be a factor. The laws protecting federal workers from illegal retaliatory action are clear in this regard.

That doesn't mean government workers are shielded from such action. What it does mean is that if those in Texas or elsewhere who suspect they have been targeted for unlawful reasons have legal recourse available. And with the help of experienced counsel, it is possible to exercise their rights to seek compensation and to correct the situation.

What if I suspect violation of veterans' preference rights?

Those who volunteer to serve our country in the military sacrifice a great deal. Most would agree that the pay isn't great. That may be made up for in some respects through the benefits that may be provided, but there can be gaps.

One of the perks that can come with successful military service that ends under honorable conditions is veterans' preference. This is a set of rules that grant veterans who meet the eligibility standards a leg up in being considered for federal employment in either the competitive or excepted service. But as the Office of Personnel Management makes clear, the rules have limits.

Early action and prep are often key in federal employee fights

Both political parties have now paraded their presidential candidates before voters in nationally televised debates. If you have ever listened with a particularly critical ear you likely have been struck by the fact that a whole lot of words are spoken without a whole lot of position actually being conveyed. That's not an accident.

Politicians at every level in Texas and executives of major corporations who have the available resources anticipate when they are going to be before the public and they prepare well for those moments.

How important is a paper trail in fighting wrongful termination?

The movie "All the President's Men" tells the true story of how intrepid reporters broke the Watergate Scandal that ultimately sank the presidency of Richard Nixon back in the 1970s. The source of the most damning leads was a person identified at the time only as "Deep Throat." And a single Deep Throat line from the movie has since become a common idiom in American culture. "Follow the money."

In the context of the Watergate affair, money purportedly was the paper trail that allowed the reporters to get to the heart of the corruption that infected the Nixon White House. And while money is often the driving force behind a lot of questionable activities in government, it isn't the only paper that's important in resolving issues.

Another government shutdown averted -- for now

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill might have a hard time finding consensus on how to get to the bathroom, but they do know how to push the political drama envelope to the limit.

With just seven hours to go before federal funding ran dry, the House of Representatives approved a continuing resolution measure Wednesday night. The Senate had taken similar action hours earlier. President Obama reportedly signed the stop-gap funding bill late yesterday.

Federal contract workers get sick leave by presidential order

President Barak Obama continues to alter the labor landscape bit by bit by virtue of executive order. His latest move came earlier this month. He signed an order declaring that starting on Jan. 1, 2017, federal contractors must offer employees paid sick leave as part of their employment benefits.

The move follows an order at the start of the summer in which the Labor Department announced that overtime pay would be made available for millions more American workers. And, of course, there have been the orders raising the minimum wage to federal contract workers, restricting labor law violators from doing business with the government and extending anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender employees.

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