What Our Clients Say

Testimonial From a Client Just a note to tell you thank you for all you have done for me so far.  It didn’t take me long to see the strategy that you laid out and how things may come to…

VA Whistle Blowing- The New Craze

Where There is Smoke, There is Fire.  But………… There is no dispute something unacceptable at the Veterans Health Administration happened concerning patient scheduling.  However, we noticed the sudden plethora of whistle-blowers coming forward after the initial claim stemming from a…

EEO Report of Investigation

Establishing the Official Case Record We previously covered the EEO Complaint process, which can be very confusing to the uninitiated.  However, to recap in context, the Report of Investigation (ROI) follows the filing of a formal Complaint and is a…

Top 3: Worst Agencies to Work With

 What We See When Dealing With Agencies During the course of working with employees, we have the opportunity assist them with MSPB, EEOC, arbitration, ULP’s, grievances, requests for information, and even OSC matters.  Subsequently, we also have the opportunity to deal…

Guest Post: Anonymous VA Employee

Post by Anonymous Regarding Veterans Affairs We recently received this information from a someone who posted at the GovExec.com site.  He (or she) reports GovExec.com would not approve the reply.  We recently incorporated some of the information from in a…

Is the VA on Life Support

Is the Veterans Administration Workforce Terminally ill? The recent veterans health “crisis”  at the Phoenix Veterans Healthcare Facility has opened up a host of new attacks on federal employees.  Whereas these attacks were previously the exclusive sole domain of the Republican…

Guest Post: Your Federal Career

Your Federal Career Decision Making – Strategies for Success By Karol Taylor Karol Taylor is a retired fed and Career Counselor who helps people get federal jobs.  She is the coauthor of Guide to America’s Federal Jobs: A Complete Directory of U.S. Government…

When Your Union Doesn’t Care

Union Indifference and it’s Implication on You In a previous post, we covered the complexity of representation and a local union’s ability to effectively function in a complex representational environment.  This post concerns union indifference.  It is important to distinguish…

What Your Union Doesn’t Know…

……Can Cost You Your Job and More Often, our consultants are brought into situations in which the local labor union has begun representation of an employee or in which we are asked to work with the local labor union in…

What Our Clients Say

Testimonial From a Client Thank you for all that you did.  If it was not for your service, I believe I would have faced a far worse outcome. TS, DHS USBP May 2014 You all brought clarity to an otherwise screwed…

Federal EEO Claims and Basis

Establishing and Controlling your Claim and Basis As we discussed in many other articles and tell our clients in every initial briefing concerning EEO complaints, EEO complaints are won or lost on initial contact. In the complaint process, this is…

Advanced Union Public Relations

What Union Public Relations Should Look Like Unions at all levels underestimate the need, and their capability, to engage in public relations.  Whether it is the National Veterans Affairs Council (NVAC) dealing with the recent patient “wait list” controversy, the National…

No Unfettered Right to Remain Silent

Don’t Let Bad Advice Ruin Your Career One of the worst pieces of advice I ever heard or read is advice from an employee, or worse, a union representative, telling an employee “you don’t have to answer questions” in response to…

Can You “Trust” an EEO Counselor ?

Watch Those EEO Counselors When reading this post, please remember our position that an EEO Complaint can be an incredibly powerful and effective tool, eclipsing other appeal routes such as negotiated grievance procedures and administrative grievances.  The issue is whether…

Union Data Reports

Finding and Retrieving Information on Your Union One of the most common questions we get from federal employees in a bargaining unit is, “how do I find out how much my union spends?”  In that regard, we offer this post.…

“Non Employees” Can File an EEO

Applicants and Former Federal Employees have “Standing” to File A common question we receive is whether a former employee or an applicant for employment can file an EEO complaint.  The short answer is yes.  As noticed by the EEOC, “If…

Republican Attack: Round 3

GOP Sharks Coming in for Another Bite After furlough, sequester, pay freezes, shutdown, increased retirement contributions, and other agency budget cuts affecting training, promotions, and awards, it appears Republicans are coming in for round 3 of attacks on federal employees…

GS-14 Out of Control

Fast Career Advancement, Conduct, and Rehiring Raise a Lot of Questions As covered in this article by News 4 in Washington (also see video below) and in this GovExec article, a high level Veterans Affairs employee with the VA Medical…

Making Initial Contact: EEO

Making Initial Contact in Pursuing an EEO Claim Initial contact with an EEO Counselor is a seemingly simple, but incredibly critical task to preserve appeal rights.  This is the very first step in filing an EEO complaint and must be…

Mixed Case or Mixed Appeal

EEOC, MSPB, Mixed Case or Mixed Appeal The world of federal employee labor relations, like other similar fields of practice, is incredibly nuanced.  Many times, we are asked the difference in such nuances and mixed cases and appeal definitions are…

What Our Clients Say

Testimonial From a Client When I first contacted you, the agency had me very worried.  After speaking to you, I felt you sincerely cared about the outcome of the case.  You quickly read many documents and developed a strategy for…

Retroactive Application of VLTP

Donated Leave May be Used Retroactively  Some confusion often arises concerning leave acquired through the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP). Specifically, there may be confusion concerning whether donate leave can be used retroactively.  The confusion arises based on the general…

Homeland Security Use of Force Changes

U.S. Border Patrol Responds to Criticsm This memorandum may raise more questions than it answers.  Tell us what you think in comments section.  Border Patrol Use of Force See All Our FAQ’s Informed Fed provides expert administrative consulting and representational…

What Our Clients Say

Testimonial From a Client I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the help you rendered to me.  When I first contacted you, I was dealing with a Hostile Work Environment at DHS. You walked me through the EEO process, gave…

Cannibalistic Downgrading

Veterans Administration Conducting Orgiastic Downgrades A new and dangerous trend is emerging in the Veterans Administration. In what can only be described as a cannibalistic orgy of position downgrading, Classification Specialists throughout the Agency are downgrading positions across the entire…

Social Media in Fed Workspace

Social Media and the Federal Workplace are on a Collision Course  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a host of other social media tools are increasingly becoming a topic of conversation and disciplinary assessment in many Employee and Labor Relations sections.  Many…

BREAKING: Charges Against TJ Bonner Dropped

U.S. Government Drops all Charges Against former Border Patrol Union National President  On Tuesday (2/11/14), federal prosecutors in San Diego dropped all charges against TJ Bonner, the former National Border Patrol Council union president.  Bonner had been fighting the federal…

FAQ: When to Contact a Consultant

Question: “When should I contact a consultant? Should I wait until the Agency proposes an action or makes a decision?”  Also, “Will my union pay associated fees or help me in any other way?” Answer:  As soon as possible.  This…

FAQ: Grievance Timeliness

Question: “I am a union steward.  Recently, a member brought an issue to my attention.  The issue date is far outside the 30 days our contract provides- but I did not become aware until just recently.  Shouldn’t the date I…

FAQ: Overtime

Question: “Can my supervisor control my overtime?” Answer:  Yes.  Overtime is considered an assignment of work and thus a management right at Title 5 USC § 7106.  However, procedures for distributing overtime have generally been determined to be negotiable as are…

BREAKING: U.S. Border Patrol Cuts AUO

Agency (CBP, ICE, USBP) Begins Elimination of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime  InformedFed.com received information, and a copy (see below) of the official Agency memorandum distributed by e-mail to employees, announcing the start of AUO (Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime) cuts for U.S. Border…

FAQ: Recalling Union Officials

Question: “[We] Would like to recall our union officials How do we go about it. What is the procedure?” Answer:  Most federal union constitutions do not provide, with specificity, for the recall of union officials.  Instead, as evidenced in the AFGE…

Federal EEO Complaint Process

Clarifying the EEO Process in Federal Sector During the past year, we noticed many agencies deviating from a clearly defined EEO complaint process.  Some examples include: Requiring employees to waive access to EEO counselor and counseling to pursue ADR (mediation)…

Union Officials and OWCP

Union Officials and OWCP Simply stated, union officials engaged in representational activities are covered by the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA).  However, union representatives engaged in the internal business of a labor organization, such as soliciting new members, picking up…

Check Your OPF

Take the Time to Check Your Official Personnel Folder Every federal employee must make time to check their Official Personnel Folder (OPF) at least once a year.  We also recommend you download a complete copy (it is an option). Since…

Make the Most of Our Initial Call

How to Maximize our Initial No Obligation Phone Call As you may know, our Consultants provide initial no obligation consultations.  This is our opportunity, and yours, to determine whether our services will be useful to you.  Often, our initial consultation…

Constructive Suspensions

When is a Suspension a Suspension Cutting right to the point and using general terms, a federal agency is empowered to (more common scenarios), Force federal employees to use accumulated leave (enforced leave) Force federal employees into a Leave Without…

Little Things: Proving Delivery

Little Things Can Add Up The issue of “delivery,” “notice,” “timely notice,” “timely delivery,” or any of it’s variants sometimes surfaces in administrative litigation such as grievances, disciplinary actions, adverse actions, EEO complaints, arbitration, etc…  As we instruct our both our…

Probationary Employee? Maybe Not.

Increasing Confusion and Mistakes Among Agencies Consultants from InformedFed are reporting an increase in the number of cases in which a federal employee receives notice of  probationary period termination, but is in fact not an employee on probation.  This situation…

Pay Raise for Federal Employees

It appears the political whoop ass Republicans took also involved a 1% pay raise for federal employees as I tweeted a few minutes ago. This was unexpected by everyone. Not only did Republicans end up with nothing, federal employees received…

Shutdown Guidance: Procedural Timelines

Timelines are “Frozen” The shutdown will have a long lasting impact on many federal employees for many reasons.  However, employees engaged in administrative processes such as responding to disciplinary or adverse actions, filing a grievance, filing an EEO claim, petitioning…

The Vitter Protocol

Hey Congressional Staffers! How does it feel to be treated like a federal employee? It sucks. Doesn’t it? #ShutdownTheGOP #p2 #wiunion — The Informed Fed (@InformedFed) October 1, 2013 Welcome Aboard Congressional Staffers! As I type, the recent Republican Vitter…

Keep Organized to Prove Your Case

“Having a case” and proving a case are two different things.  Two of the most common recurring issues we encounter in consulting with clients is 1) lack of collected evidence and/or 2) lack of organization concerning collected evidence related to…

FAQ: Ward Violations

Question: “What is a Ward Violation?” Answer:  Without getting too technical, a Ward violation (Ward v. USPS, 111 FMSR 183   (Fed. Cir. 02/17/11) occurs when a deciding official considers information not previously noticed to the employee via the proposal…

FAQ: Resignation and Crime Provisions

Question: “My agency suspended me indefinitely under the crime provisions. I have 2 questions: a) Can I resign/request removal before my agency completes an investigation? b) If separation is granted(?), would I be able to request full withdrawal of my…

Opinion: CFC Must Die

The Combined Federal Campaign must die. Update (1/31/2014):  As reported in the Federal Times, CFC pledges are down sharply at the end of the 2013 campaign.  And, federal employees must kill it.  While this opinion may sound bitter or vengeful, and we…

FAQ: Union Membership Solicitation

Question: “Can a [federal] union official recruit members during duty hours or official time?” Answer:  Rarely is the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) as clear in other questions as they are with this question.  Unless your Master Agreement or other negotiated instrument…

MSPB: No Right to Counsel

Recently, a Federal employee argued the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) “abused its discretion” by failing to appoint (and pay for) an attorney to represent her before the Board concerning her removal (“firing”) from the Internal Revenue Service. The appeals…

Responding to Proposed Actions

During the course of your federal career, you may find yourself the subject of a proposed agency action. Frankly, the longer your career and more complex your job functions, the greater this likelihood.