Drug testing is now a part of life. Like it or not. Even if you've never taken an illicit drug in your life, you still face a good likelihood of having to prove it at some point.
There's no question that Judi Briskman has a lot of supporters. In just the past few days, a "GoFundMe" page set up on her behalf (but not with her authorization) has collected nearly $50,000. Why is she the focus of attention; because she lost her job with a government contractor. The company says she violated policy by posting a shot of herself presenting a middle-finger salute as her profile picture on two social media outlets.
Ronald Reagan is credited with saying, "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." Some government officials have actually been known to use that as a humorous opening to talks they give and we are sure it elicits chuckles – even they're uncomfortable.
In our previous post, we introduced readers to Kalkines and Garrity. These are forms of warning similar to the one most people are familiar with – the Miranda warning. One key thing that makes them different is the circumstances in which they are used. Federal officials are required to issue Kalkines/Garrity warnings to interview subjects when they investigate suspected or alleged misconduct. If the purported wrongdoing is criminal in nature, authorities are required to Mirandize you before placing you in custody.
There is a warning about your legal rights that nearly everybody knows, even if they have never heard the words directly from an investigator. If you have ever watched a cop show on television you appreciate that "you have a right to remain silent" when being questioned. And, anything you say after you have been read your rights can be used against you in a court of law. It's the Miranda warning.
One of the specific targets under the Trump administration's "drain the swamp" theme is the alleged corruption in the Veterans Affairs department. The VA has been in the crosshairs for several years after discoveries that veterans were dying because of delayed treatments and apparent administrative cover-ups of those delays.
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.
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.
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."