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Federal Employment and Labor Law Blog

Will lawmakers’ move to protect federal whistleblowers backfire?

Whistleblowers play an important role in the federal government. The tips given by these workers help hold those in power accountable. These workers can catch an abuse of the system, ideally while there is still time to rectify the problem. In exchange, the government and legal system is supposed to protect the worker from retaliation.

VA called to "do better" when it comes to sexual harassment

The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs recently called out the Veterans Affairs (VA) office for its failure to properly address sexual harassment within the agency. The public scolding was part of a letter published online on The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman’s website.  

Discrimination against veterans in the federal workplace

There are few callings more honorable than that of serving your country.

Many of the millions of men and women who have served in the U.S. military go on to work in federal positions. And after serving their country faithfully, veterans deserve respect in the workplace.

New proposal could impact federal employees’ retirement benefits

One of the benefits of a government job is, well, the benefits. Perks like the retirement plan that comes with the position can help convince workers to accept or stick with a government job.

Two lawmakers are pushing to help solidify this specific benefit.

Forget to state your claim and you could lose your case

The legal world can be tricky. There are very specific rules to follow and a failure to follow those rules can result in you losing your case — even if based on the merits and facts of the case it is clear you should have won.

A recent case provides an example.

Did it just get harder to get a federal job?

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently pushed for an expansion of the questions used to determine an applicant’s criminal background used on employment application forms. The agency’s proposal calls for applications to include questions about convictions through alternative programs that may have resulted in an expunged record.

How is this different than the current process? Applications currently request information about any recent convictions or time spent in prison, not enrollment or use of alternative programs.

Merit Systems Protection Board appeals backlogged by two years

The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) has lacked a quorum since January 2017. This means federal employees who wish to challenge the administrative judge’s ruling on their case are left in limbo. The review cannot move forward until there is a quorum.

What is the problem? Since there are not enough members of the MSPB to make a quorum, requested reviews are on hold. This could translate to a long wait for employees seeking resolution. One recent estimate puts the current backlog at over two years.

Research contractor for DOD wins retaliation lawsuit

A female employee recently accused a federal contractor with the Department of Defense (DOD) out of Texas, Southwest Research (SwRI), of sex discrimination. Shortly after the accusations, the contractor fired the employee. This resulted in accusations of retaliation.

Details of the allegations: Promotions without equal pay

OPM chastised for failing to implement needed changes

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has called on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to change how it manages federal workers.

Why did the GAO recommend change? The OPM oversees personal data for millions, including those with high level security clearance. The OPM has experienced multiple incidents that compromised its systems, one in June of 2015 and a second in July 2015. As a result, it is important to better ensure safe operations within OPM.

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