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August 2017 Archives

Protecting federal worker rights in midst of 'distrumption'

If you try to look up the word "distrumption" in the dictionary, you won't find it. That's one of the interesting things about language. It can change with the times, and right now, we think it might be argued that distrumption seems to express what is being felt throughout the federal government and its workforce. That is not a statement about the rightness or wrongness of what's happening – merely an observation of current conditions.

What factors does the MSPB consider in discipline reviews?

Discipline is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. This is as true within the construct of the federal employment system as it is in any other. It's for this reason that no two cases brought before the Merit Systems Protection Board in appealing disciplinary action are ever alike.

Higher per diem rates won't put fed workers in any Trump hotels

Using per diem allowances to pad reimbursements for business travel happens. It's not supposed to, but it does. One way the federal government tries to manage the risk is by setting limits on what employees can recover for expenses incurred for work-related travel.

Leaking, whistleblowing: Is there a difference?

President Trump expressed support for leaking when it suited his election campaign. Now that he's in office, his attitude is changed. Some might liken the flow of leaks from within the administration to having a screen door on a submarine. Boats with such a design flaw cannot stay afloat long, and so it is that the president has been goading his attorney general to take some action. It appears to have worked. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said recently, "We are taking a stand. This culture of leaking must stop."

Is the military transgender ban legal?

There are a lot of issues in the political pot in Washington these days. Some are legitimate. Some have been created by presidential tweet. Some observers suggest that the Twitter energy expended by the current resident of the White House is little more than a "dead cat" strategy. The idea being that the more ingredients he can throw into the stew, real or not, the less focus there can be on things that might disrupt the administration's agenda.

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