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May 2014 Archives

VA employees and the hospital scheduling scandal

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is under fire for a scandal involving the scheduling of appointments for patients within the VA's hospitals. The situation has received a great deal of media coverage, much of it asking questions the CNN story cited. The escalation by politicians, asking questions like "Why hasn't anyone been fired yet" appear to be done to inflame the public and create a rush to judgment.

MSPB recommends formal protection for sexual orientation

When it comes to legal matters, there is a hierarchy of authority. The U.S. Constitution is the source of all other law in this country, which then moves down through acts of Congress that create statutory laws. Some of those laws create administrative agencies and grant those agencies the authority to promulgate regulations. Those regulations may be subject to interpretation by administrative personnel and administrative law judges.

In an election year, don't forget the Hatch Act

This year is an election year for many members of Congress. The increase in political chatter in the media is unavoidable. Many federal workers may be motivated to discuss political issues and candidates while at work, and some may feel moved to actively work for candidates of their choice. If so, they need to be aware restrictions on political activity that apply to federal employees due to the Hatch Act.

Workplace discrimination must be severe or pervasive

The difference between a workplace discrimination claims and having to deal with a difficult boss or coworkers can sometimes be less than clear. Are activities of supervisors discriminatory or are they, as the Supreme Court has described it, the "ordinary tribulations of the workplace."

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