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The author says it is becoming increasingly dangerous to criticize people’s weight. He says federal employees need to consider at what point it becomes unlawful harassment or retaliation when they encounter it in the workplace.
Federal employee whistleblowing activity has reached screeching levels, with the government’s watchdog agency, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), seeing a surge of new disclosures of wrongdoing in fiscal year 2012.
The author says that because of the MSPB’s “Douglas Factors,” federal employees that damage an agency’s reputation can face demotion or removal and says this could come into play in the recent IRS scandal.
The recent case involving a federal employee who was reprimanded by the Social Security Administration for passing gas at work had a humorous aspect to it, the author points out that there is a serious aspect to the case as well in terms of legal precedent.
Some federal employees who engage in extramarital affairs do not believe their personal relationships should have any bearing on their employment, even if that relationship is of a sexual nature with someone other than his or her spouse. However, what happens in the bedroom can haunt them in the office.
Mathew B. Tully is the Founding Partner of Tully Rinckey PLLC and concentrates his practice on the representation of military personnel and federal government sector employees. He has represented federal employees before such federal agencies at the Merit Systems Protection Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Office of Special Counsel and in court before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.A Major in the New York Army National Guard, Mr. Tully has chosen to dedicate his legal career to protecting and preserving the rights of veterans and reservists. After suffering from military discrimination at the hands of his employer, Mr. Tully received his Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School. On September 11, 2001, while employed in the legal department of Morgan Stanley, Mr. Tully escaped from the World Trade Center and shortly thereafter relocated to Upstate New York with his wife and their family. There in his ski home he began providing legal services to friends and former colleagues. The firm quickly outgrew his home and, with the addition of his college friend Greg Rinckey, Esq. as managing partner in 2004, Tully Rinckey PLLC opened an office in Albany, NY. The resulting success within the federal employment and military law sectors launched the firm into a luxury office in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Tully has since become a pioneer in the field of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act litigation, winning several landmark cases that have greatly influenced the laws protecting United States veterans. His leadership in military law is reflected in his role as a syndicated columnist for the Military Times, where his "Ask the Lawyer" column is featured weekly in the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times, and Marine Corps Times. In October of 2007, Mr. Tully testified in front of the United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs regarding his criticism of and recommendations for changes to USERRA. He provided his expertise on the Act again in February of 2008 in front of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
In 2008, Mr. Tully was admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court of England and Wales, becoming one of the few American attorneys licensed in a foreign country. He now has full rights to practice before the European Court of Human Rights, European Court of First Instance, and the European Court of Justice, as well as most courts in England and Wales.
In addition, Mr. Tully is an adjunct professor at Albany Law School, in Albany, NY, teaching a newly developed course on Law Practice Management.