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.

Grievance Presentation

Some of the best laughs we have in my office are when we read negotiated grievances submitted by union representatives (and sometimes ULP Complaints as well).

Leveraging the EEO Process

While most people automatically assume EEO complaints must be race or gender based, with a distinct and irrefutable “trigger event” such as a racial slur or physical contact, the truth is successful EEO complaints can be based on subtle actions over a period of time and on a myriad of basis such as age, retaliation, color (skin pigmentation regardless of race), disability, and others.

FAQ: Timeliness in Discipline

Question “Can a disciplinary action be challenged for timeliness if the employee has been on administrative duty for two years awaiting the completion of a misconduct investigation and presentation of the actual charges.” Answer We will give you one of our more…

Our Latest Stats

Some Informed Fed contributors also function as consultants to employees, unions, and even agency managers in a variety of matters.  These services range from direct EEO representation in complaints to advisory services (indirect representation) when employees handle their own MSPB appeals…

FAQ: Can My Supervisor Stop Me From Working AUO

Neither law nor applicable guidance abrogates the discretion to work AUO to the individual employee. In other words, let’s say you are working a group past your shift. Can a supervisor tell you to disengage and return to the station to go home? The answer is an unequivocal yes.

Recent EEO Settlements

Our consultants recently reported the following EEO related federal agency/complainant settlements of which they have first hand direct knowledge.  Due to confidentiality, we are only able to provide amounts and general basis for settlement.  The settlements are from a wide range of…

FAQ: MSPB or Arbitration?

Many practitioners, both union and agency, will cite MSPB management (agency) favorability statistics indicating MSPB favors the agency in outcomes. This is true, but somewhat skewed because most labor organizations will 1) send “bad cases” (those lacking merit) to the MSPB because there are no associated costs unlike arbitration and/or 2) send cases to MSPB because they lack funds to pay for arbitration.

Strange Days and Strange Leaders

The propaganda, and that is really the best word to describe it, has an Orwellian, if not Nazi tone to it. You have to wonder how anyone in leadership could approve such a message.

Furlough Guidance Issued by CBP

The Department of Homeland Security / Customs and Border Protection issued furlough guidance to its employees.  The document provides information in a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) format.  It is a good starting point for answering employee questions and is applicable…

Opinion: A Long Dark Road for Federal Employees

While federal employees once actually supported the pay freeze on the basis of “doing their part,” such support has deteriorated as the pay freeze appears permanent and additional proposals such as furloughs, pay cuts, overtime cuts, and increased benefits premiums begin to compound and drive federal employee pay down to levels not seen in decades. Federal employees have learned that being a public employee and a Republican are mutually exclusive.

Union Communications Vital

The solution for local federal labor unions is amazingly simple, easily implemented, and extremely cost effective: simply leverage existing technologies as force multipliers.

FAQ: Appropriate Arrangements Under Furlough

Question “What are appropriate arrangements bargaining related to furlough?” Answer Appropriate arrangements can be a complicated matter, especially during an unprecedented sequestration furlough in which agencies are receiving very little information and in which most union leaders have no experience.…

FAQ: Should I Resign

“Last week they [federal agency] decided to fire me. Should I just resign? If I resign, what will show in my OPF?”

The Top Hit’s at The Informed Fed

Below is a table showing the top visits to The Informed Fed for the previous seven day period.  Draw any conclusion you want, but I think reasonable people will agree “it’s the pay stupid!” Topic Views pay 9,862 furlough 9,578…

FAQ: Who The Hell Are you Guys?

We are all academically and professionally credentialed unlike your buddy whose advice for you when you are told you are being fired is, “they can’t do that.” Trust me, we can. Our win rate is damn near 100% no exaggeration.

FAQ: Role of ELR Specialists

Question “What is the role of the agency ELR Specialist?  What is their education level? What is their grade level” Answer The primary role of an agency ELR Specialist is to provide expert consultative and transactional services to agency supervisors, managers, and executives…

Up Close & Personal: Mitochondrial Disease

I would like to take a moment to discuss a very serious issue: Mitochondrial Disease.  I was completely unaware what Mitochondrial Disease was until our beautiful niece, Olivia, was diagnosed with it.  Mitochondrial Diseases are very diverse conditions due to dysfunction of mitochondria, specialized compartments…

AFGE “Emergency Meeting” a Bust

When sources told The Informed Fed AFGE was holding an “Emergency Meeting” for Union presidents concerning pending furloughs and pay cuts, we sort of laughed.  Having been a vocal, and some would say militant, union president during the Department of Homeland…

FAQ: Unhappy With Union Representation

“When union members feel they are not being represented properly what options do we have in removing elected positions? Recall? Special election? Signature collection? Bid of no confidence?”

FAQ: Can Furloughed Federal Employees Get Unemployment

Question “I am being furloughed soon and live in California.  Can I get unemployment compensation?” Answer Possibly.  This is a state by state issue.  For example, in the state of Tennessee, the following guideline applies, In order to file during…

Inside Sources: AFGE Emergency Meeting Today

Inside sources reported to The Informed Fed that AFGE President J. David Cox has called an “emergency conference call” for ALL AFGE local union presidents regarding furloughs and sequestration impact on federal employees.  Let’s just hope AFGE breaks out of it’s traditional…

FAQ: What is Part-Time?

hours of work employees are assigned is a condition of employment subject to negotiation; a mandatory topic of negotiations. Immigration and Naturalization Service, (FLRA 1995).

FAQ: How do I Appeal a Furlough?

Question “I heard furloughs can be appealed.  Is this true?” Answer There are two predominant routes of furlough appeal.  MSPB and EEO. Clearly any appeal related to furlough is an uphill battle.  However, one view is that such an appeal may preserve future…

Federal Employees Were Warned

The take away for federal employees is this: YOU WERE WARNED you were next. Most federal employees and union officials I talked to viewed the Wisconsin labor battle as an abstract concept.

FAQ: What Are Crime Provisions?

Office of Personnel Management regulations (5 CFR 752.402(e)) permit agencies to place employees on indefinite suspension pending completion of investigation or criminal proceedings when the agency has cause to believe the employee committed a crime for which the employee could be imprisoned.

A Battle Plan for Unions

Many union leaders I spoke with believe the furlough will not happen. While that may be true (hopefully), this situation provides local and national union leaders an opportunity to demonstrate leadership to their members during a crisis and reassert a long diminishing role.

FAQ: Can I Appeal the Loss of AUO?

Question “The Agency announced it is taking away my AUO.  They are cutting my pay.  Can I appeal their decision?” Answer It is important to note that loss of AUO, for any reason, is not an appealable action. A reduction…

Life After Furlough

While many federal employees are focused on the pending furlough as of today, they need to also keep their eyes on life after furlough- and it is possibly even uglier than the furlough.

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, the Union must represent dues paying members and non-dues paying members…

FAQ: Full Time Under FLSA

Question “Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, how many hours are considered full time?” Answer A part time employee any person employed by an agency who does not meet the Basic workweek, for full-time employees, which is a 40-hour workweek established in accordance with 5 CFR § 610.111. (see,…