If you're a federal employee or are applying for a federal job, a drunk driving arrest can be a big deal. First, it can cause you to miss work, which could lead to performance concerns. If your job requires you to have a valid driver's license, you may face real challenges. Also, an employer's concerns about your alcohol consumption can create problems with your security clearance.
Legal actions often proceed slowly. This is generally not due to judges having a poor work ethic. Courts and other legal proceedings are often slow for exactly the opposite reason; because the judges and their staff are so busy. Court dockets are often booked months in advance, meaning when new cases arise, they are sent to the back of the line, and that line may be rather long.
The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) has released its strategic plan for the next few fiscal years and it outlines some of the challenges facing the agency. Perhaps the largest and most critical has been dealing with the fallout from budget sequestration and furloughs of last year.
The General Services Administration (GSA) Western Regions Conference scandal was a political embarrassment for the agency. It led to high-level resignations and a political uproar from members of Congress decrying the profligate spending that the agency engaged in when setting up a conference in Las Vegas.
A nasty fact about lawsuits is that sometimes a party will used procedural maneuvering to prolong a proceeding, or to start ancillary proceedings, in an attempt to wear out an opponent. This happens when individual citizens sue large corporations with deep pockets. It also can occur in dealings with the federal government, including those where federal employees engage in whistleblowing.
Working for the federal government has some advantages over the private sector. Job security was generally very good, as many jobs are essential and not easily replaced by private companies. The benefits were also above average, with good healthcare coverage and a genuine pension plan. And federal employees have the satisfaction of doing important jobs that serve their country.
Social media, like Facebook or LinkedIn and other online sites, makes it easy to connect with old friends, make new friends and engage in a community with similar interests. For workers, especially federal workers, you can discuss your job and workplace and in many cases, the site may serve as the equivalent of the water cooler.
Federal civilian Department of Defense (DoD) employees handling "sensitive" work have lost any right to appeal an adverse job action the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), according to a court of appeals decision last week. The court ruled this applies even when the job does not require a security clearance or classified access.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) is responsible for enforcing many of the nation's laws governing workplace safety. One of their duties involves the collection of workplace injury reports from industry. A man who was responsible for that department at OSHA was fired for disruptive workplace behavior in 2007. He was a 25-year veteran of the agency, and had been known for his outspoken criticism of the agency's failure to adequately deal with the underreporting of injuries.
When a federal government employee comes forward as a whistleblower, they understand the risk to their job and career. They have probably already tried to work with their chain of command, and report their concerns to their supervisors. Because so much of what government employees do affects public safety, witness the questions of what inspections were carried out at the West Fertilizer plant prior to the catastrophic explosion, just standing by and watching some disaster unfold is not an option.