No Unfettered Right to Remain Silent

[Editors note:  This is an updated (by request) version of an article previously published in 2014.] Don’t Let Bad Advice Ruin Your Career One of the worst pieces of advice we ever heard or read is advice from an employee, or…

InFED Client Profiles by Federal Agency

InformedFED provides a variety of direct services to federal employees across many agencies.  We limit the number of clients we accept depending on case type, our workload, and our capacity to provide expert consultants. Calendar Year 2018 Clients by Federal…

MSPB Judge’s Handbook

Whether you are a union representative representing an employee in an adverse action under appeal at the Merit Systems Protection Board, or you are an employee representing yourself, the MSPB Judges Handbook can be an indispensable tool. This handbook provides…

Senate Approves $40,000 Buyouts for Federal Employees

Prior to taking any buyout, federal employees should consult qualified financial advisors, especially if you intend on working for a contractor post buyout.  There have always been tax implications. However, the implications are far greater now under current tax law.…

Massive Federal Pay & Benefit Cuts Not Far Off

Federal employee pay and benefits have been a target of Republicans for a long time and to be fair, to a much lesser degree, even Democrats (remember the Obama federal pay freeze).  However, this time it appears a perfect storm…

First Steps Upon Receipt of a Proposed Action

Recently, we noticed a trend in federal employees contacting us with only a few days remaining in their response period in connection with a notice of proposed removal or suspension. Waiting  to begin addressing a notice of proposed removal from…

Federal Retirement Servicing

Many employees, especially those that have been in federal service for a while, likely remember the days when agencies had retirement specialists on local staff, typically aligned under the local Human Resources Office.  In fact, many employees knew the retirement…

Why Trump Should Matter to Federal Employees

Enough is Enough For approximately two years, the federal workforce, much like the rest of the country, watched the unfolding of a national disaster in slow motion.  It was the latest reality TV show we all thought would never last. …

Consultant or Attorney? It’s your choice.

When facing an adverse personnel action (such as removal, demotion, etc.), or other issue necessitating some form of representation (such as EEO, administrative grievance, etc.), federal employees at all grade levels must decided whether they will engage some form of representation…

FAQ: Union Membership and Representation

Question “I am a federal employee.  Do I have to pay dues to be represented by the union?” Answer No.  If you are a member of the bargaining unit (eligible to join a union), the Union must represent dues paying…

Does It Hurt To Have A Union Representative?

There is a prevailing theory that it is better to have union representation, than not have union representation, given such a need.  While we are certainly proponents of labor organizations and their important representational and historical role in the workplace,…

Reasonable Accommodation & Unexpected Consequences

This article is not intended to provide detailed instructions in applying for Reasonable Accommodation.  Each circumstance and set of facts is unique and instructions are specific in that regard. Instead, this article is intended to help employees avoid risking their jobs by…

Can a Union Negotiate Performance Awards?

The short answer is yes.  But you also already knew it is more complicated than a simple yes or no answer.  During the last two months we fielded many inquiries from labor organizations at the local levels concerning this subject.…

Failure to State (EEO) a Claim

Many federal employees begin the EEO process without understanding the process and its requirements.  For example, federal employees will often make contact with an EEO Counselor and file a complaint in a drawn out narrative format, often reading like a…

What Our Clients Say

Testimonial From a Client With your help, my attorney negotiated a settlement agreement with the Agency. I achieved a rescinded action in exchange for withdrawal of both MSPB Appeal and EEO case. I just received confirmation the Agency cleaned my…

What Our Clients Say

Testimonial From a Client It’s been a long and arduous journey and I couldn’t have gotten here without your help. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t seem to be enough. I just wanted to let you know that you made it possible for…

Retirement- After Being Fired

Federal employees who are removed from federal service (“fired”) do not normally lose any entitlement to retirement benefits already earned, with limited exceptions (see, 5 USC 8312).  The type of retirement in this instance is sometimes erroneously referred to as…

Dealing With… Hostile Work Environment

Note, this article is part of our continuing series of articles titled “Dealing With….”.  This special series is designed to provide simple practical advice of immediate usefulness to federal employees (and even local and state employees to a certain degree) dealing with…

LWOP in Connection with OWCP

Leave Without Pay (LWOP) in connection with Office of Worker’s Compensation Claims (DOL OWCP) is a source of confusion for federal employees, as well as agencies.  In our experience, this is largely due to a number of misperceptions of affected employees…

Opinion: Gripping Reality; The GOP (STILL) Hates You

Note:  This Article (provided below and unchanged) was first published March 2, 2013.  We are republishing it in the wake of the Mr. Trump’s controversial election (lost popular vote by three million, associated Russian cyber hacking, conflicts of interest, etc…) and…

Are You Required to Invoke FMLA?

We receive many inquiries from employees confused by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in relation to serious health conditions and the use (approval/denial) of leave.  Typically, questions come in the context of protections afforded by The Act and the…

When Unions Go Bad

Somewhat regularly, we field calls from union members in the federal sector (and even union officials) regarding issues with union representation or leadership. The issues may involve claims of failure to provide union representation (including adequate representation are most common), the…

Administrative Leave & Authorized Absence

The terms Administrative Leave and Authorized Absence are essentially synonymous (we will use the term Administrative Leave for the purposes of this post).  Further, we distinguish that for the purpose of this article, we are not addressing such leave used…

Can It Hurt To Have A Union Representative?

There is a prevailing theory that it is usually better to have union representation, than not have union representation, given such need.  While we are certainly proponents of labor organizations and their representational roles, particularly since we have been on…

Dealing with… Protected Health Information (PHI)

Note, this article is part of our continuing series of articles titled “Dealing With….”.  This special series is designed to provide simple practical advice of immediate usefulness to federal employees (and even local and state employees to a certain degree) dealing with…

Question of Nondisclosure Agreements

At InformedFed, we often receive calls from federal employees seeking advice and consultation concerning whistleblower claims in the context of retaliation, employee relations, and filing for status with the Office of Special Counsel.  Throughout the last eighteen months, we received…

Dealing With… Change of Supervisor

Note, this article is part of our continuing series of articles titled “Dealing With….”.  This special series is designed to provide simple practical advice of immediate usefulness to federal employees (and even local and state employees to a certain degree) dealing with…

Duty of Fair Representation

“I Hate My Union. They Are Corrupt and Incompetent” That is an actual quote we received from a  dues paying union member of a large federal employee bargaining unit.  Such sentiments are not unusual.  Many union members feel disenfranchised for a variety of…

SF 50 Codes (Nature of Action & Legal Authority)

While it is true we could not have come up with a more boring title for this article, we frequently field questions concerning the SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action, and more specifically, the enigmatic Nature of Action and Legal Authority…

$900,000 Federal Agency EEO Settlement

Believe it or not—-It’s True On January 29, 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in federal district court, settled an EEO case with a federal employee for $900,000.00 (this is not a typo).  In Lenkiewicz v. Housing and…

Dealing With… Proposed Changes to Working Conditions

Note, this is our second article in a series of articles titled “Dealing With….”.  This special series is designed to provide simple practical advice of immediate usefulness to federal employees (and even local and state employee to a certain degree) dealing with…

No Right to Authorized Absence Unless…

The issue of authorized absence (also referred by some and many as excused absence, administrative leave, “no charge to leave”) comes up en masse every year about this time.  During the latter half of January 2016, the top search term…

Dealing With… Notice of Proposed Suspension

Note, this is our first article in a series of articles titled “Dealing With….”.  This special series is designed to provide simple practical advice of immediate usefulness to federal employees (and even local and state to a certain degree) dealing with…

Quick Word On Performance Appraisals & Bonuses

And we do mean, just a quick word………. This time of year we receive an incredible number of inquiries from federal employees concerning annual performance appraisals and associated (linked or unlinked) bonuses.  Issues related to performance bonuses and appraisals can be…

Whistleblower Rights and Prohibited Personnel Practices

Whistleblowing involves disclosure of information an employee or applicant reasonably believes evidences a violation of law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.  The…

Yet Another EEO Process Chart

One of the most common questions we receive concerns the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint process.  Yes, without question, the process can be very confusing to the uninitiated. This is why there are numerous published EEO complaint process charts.  Here, we present…

MSPB Mock Hearing & Training

Whether you are new to Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) processes or already a practitioner, both MSPB and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provide valuable training materials.  Among them are mock hearing video training sessions.  These videos will give…