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October 2013 Archives

Federal employees must repay unemployment payments

The Department of Labor (DOL) last week issued "guidance" to the states regarding federal employees and their eligibility for unemployment insurance payments during the federal government shutdown. In that guidance, the DOL stated that all furloughed federal employees were in "pay status," during the shutdown and therefore "were not 'unemployed' and are thus ineligible for unemployment benefits."

The cost of the federal shutdown

For federal employees, the recently ended government shutdown carries a high price. While the reopening of the government was tied to a bill that would provide back pay, the functioning of more than 800,000 federal workers is not a switch that can be flicked on and off will no ill side effects.

There is a time to hold your tongue

The case described here provides a teachable moment for anyone involved in an employment law dispute. While this case did not involve a federal employee, or a hearing in front of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), it did involve allegations of sex discrimination and used mediation as the dispute resolution method, and the basic facts describe situations that can occur in virtually any employment setting.

EPA attempts removal again of "problem" employee

A nasty fact about lawsuits is that sometimes a party will used procedural maneuvering to prolong a proceeding, or to start ancillary proceedings, in an attempt to wear out an opponent. This happens when individual citizens sue large corporations with deep pockets. It also can occur in dealings with the federal government, including those where federal employees engage in whistleblowing.

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