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July 2018 Archives

Special Counsel whistleblower backlog doubled from 2011 to 2016

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that the Office of Special Counsel's backlog of whistleblower and prohibited personnel practices cases almost doubled between 2011 and 2016, even though the OSC has been actively working to reduce it. The GAO notes that the OSC increased the number of employees reviewing the cases and established a unit focusing on hybrid cases involving both a whistleblower disclosure and alleged retaliation. Nevertheless, the approximately 66-percent increase in cases filed since 2011 was enough to overcome those efforts and cause the backlog to increase.

Protest over executive orders leads to disciplinary violations

A Social Security Administration (SSA) claims representative who also acts as a grievance vice president for his local chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has been placed on administrative leave after a protest. Using washable window paint, the man wrote several messages on the windows of a Troy, New York, SSA office building in protest of President Trump's recent executive orders targeting unions.

All Circuit Review Act gives federal whistleblowers more options

The All Circuit Review Act was signed into law on July 9 after a six-year pilot program. It gives federal employees to appeal Merit Systems Protection Board decisions to any federal appellate court of competent jurisdiction, which means any U.S. court of appeals. In the past, these decisions could only be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.

Paid parental leave: A retention issue for the federal workforce?

The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2018 was introduced in the House of Representatives on June 28. The proposal would provide most federal employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child. Workers would not be required to use up their sick time or annual leave in order to take parental leave.

OIG Report: Women are underrepresented, promoted less at DOJ

A report by the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector general highlights a gender inequity problem in all four of the department's law enforcement components: The FBI, the DEA, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshalls Service. The review found women to be underrepresented in operational positions generally and even more so in leadership. Unfortunately, male staff seemed unaware of the problem.

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