Category: Frequently Asked Questions

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…

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),…

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…

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…

Reasonable Accommodation

Reasonable Accommodation May Lead to 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…

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…

When Not to Fire Your Attorney

At InformedFed, our primary objective is providing expert consultation to employees affected by proposed or final adverse personnel actions or otherwise engaging administrative processes such as grievance procedures, Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), arbitration, Office of Special Counsel (OSC), Equal…

“In Lieu Of” Removal

Federal employees faced with removal possess the ability to resign prior to the effective date of the removal action.  Employees otherwise eligible for retirement maintain the ability to retire prior to and after the effective date of removal.  While these options…

Performance Standards & Plans

The technical topic of performance standards and plans (standards are contained in plans) is typically confusing for federal managers, union officials, and employees alike. Performance standards and plans are convoluted by years of wrongly held preconceptions by all parties, layers of…

Due Process in Federal Service

MSPB Issues Comprehensive Report and Explanation As senior level Employee and Labor Relations Specialists, we can directly attest to the fact federal employees are routinely fired (removed from federal service).  This Merit Systems Protection Board report supports our view.  The MSPB…