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…

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…

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.

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.

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…

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?”

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…

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…

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…

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.

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…

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,…