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Employee Rights Archives

Federal subcontractors now have whistleblower protections

A general consensus exists that society should encourage people to speak up when they see others breaking the law. As such, lawmakers have passed various pieces of legislation protecting those who act as whistleblowers on others' wrongdoings. The 2013 Defense Authorization Act went into effect on July 1, 2013, and as part of the DAA, Congress extended legal protections for whistleblowers that already exist for federal employees to those who work for Department of Defense as subcontractors.

Federal employees could be fired for silence?

In the ongoing Internal Revenue Service "scandal," one IRS official, Lois Lerner, refused to answer questions in front of a Congressional committee. More precisely, she invoked her Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions that could be self-incriminating. A representative decided this should not be allowed, and has proposed legislation that would make invoking the Fifth Amendment grounds for immediate termination of any federal employee.

NLRB nominees approved by Senate committee

Last week, a Senate committee voted to approve five nominees for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB has been in a holding pattern since an Court of Appeal's decision ruled that President Obama lacked the authority to make certain recess appointments to the board.

VA claims processing office described as "toxic"

Many government agencies are struggling with hiring and pay freezes, increased workloads, budget cuts and the effects of the sequestration. The constant mantra seems to be do more with less. Doing more with less, however, comes with a cost, and this cost if often borne by employees, either directly, like pay cuts and furloughs, or indirectly by pressure and harassment by management and supervisors.

Large numbers of federal employees want to leave current job

Many federal employees are feeling under attack. The never-ending series of budget "crises" and the unrelenting negative publicity aimed at federal employees becomes demoralizing to the average worker just trying to do their job. The sequestration, pay freezes, budget cuts and the incipient furloughs add to the oppressive environment that many workers inhabit.

OMB warns agencies to limit employee incentives during sequestration

As sequestration continues, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued instructions to federal agencies to limit incentive awards for employees and warned them to not attempt to shift money within their budgets to "soften the impact of sequestration."

Federal workers feel sequestration as one more tragedy

The five stages of grief after a tragedy have been identified as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. A federal employee union representative in Washington describes the situation his members are going through as that of a tragedy. Sequestration is the latest in the series of tragedies that have struck federal employees, and is part of a general trend against public employees.

CBP employees facing almost three-weeks of furlough cuts

The latest federal agency to begin the process of notifying employees of furloughs is Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The agency, which has more than 60,000 employees, started sending notices that furloughs would begin after April 21 and could entail up to 14 days, spread across the rest of the fiscal year. CBP is going to use a hiring freeze, cutting travel and training budgets, and sharp cuts to overtime and compensatory time to achieve the needed budget cuts.

Sequestration takes effect; what happens next for federal employees

Now that Congress and the President have failed to prevent sequestration from going into effect, for many federal employees, the question on their minds becomes "what now?" The truth is, no one really knows, because no one has experience with this type of situation. Each agency will respond slightly differently, so how the sequestration cuts will affect employees will also vary.

MSPB could be hit with thousands of personnel decision appeals

As the deadline for sequestration looms, federal agencies have begun to discuss how they will achieve the mandated five percent across the board budget cuts that will be required on March 1. To achieve these cuts, many federal agencies will use unpaid furloughs, sending employees home and off their payroll.

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