Last week, the Department of Justice issued new directives to address sexual harassment in its workplaces. Some complain, however, that the policies invite uneven application from section to section, and that could mean leaving victims of harassment and assault unprotected.
Last year, the average time a federal employee waited for a resolution of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint was 543 days. The reasons include a large backlog, a shortage of funding, perhaps a lack of leadership -- and the #MeToo movement, which has prompted a flood of new complaints to the agency.
When the Navy began integrating submarines eight years ago, there was push-back. Some submariners, veterans and submariners' wives thought the living quarters were just too tight and that lack of privacy and the potential for romantic entanglements would be disruptive.
"It is a national disgrace," says the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the Navy. The lawsuit accuses the service of giving less-than-honorable discharges to Navy and Marine Corps veterans due to minor infractions engendered by service-related disabilities. The plaintiffs have traumatic brain injuries, PTSD and other mental illnesses brought on by service trauma. The less-than-honorable discharges strip them of the very VA benefits they need to recover from those conditions.
If you're a federal employee, you may have heard that both the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission take on discrimination complaints involving federal employment. In some cases, the proper agency is clear. In others, you can file your complaint with either agency -- but not both. Which one should you choose?
Last month, 15 women accused veteran 9th Circuit jurist Alex Kozinski of engaging in a pattern of sexual harassment and misconduct. Kozinski, 67, served for 32 years on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. After a partial apology, he announced his retirement.
Lately our firm has been hearing from some federal employees concerning unfair treatment during performance reviews. This is the pattern that is emerging from our discussions:
Sexual harassment in the workplace is nothing new. So why has it erupted into such a significant issue in recent weeks? In the view of some observers, it's a matter of evolution.
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.