Court Cases

Government Pays the Price for Making Fed Employees Depressed

When employees are not happy, employers – often unwittingly – pay the price. The author says that federal agency managers must not lose sight of this as they strive to operate with smaller and smaller budgets.

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Unprofessional, Uncivil and Somewhat Boorish

According to the appeals court, “somewhat boorish” actions of supervisors at Merit Systems Protection Board were the “ordinary tribulations of the workplace,” and did not add up to an actionable hostile work environment.

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Volunteer Jury Duty Leads to Firing

A fired Navy employee who tried to avoid relocation to D.C. by volunteering to serve on a grand jury has lost in her third round before the appeals court.

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Practice Makes Perfect

This is yet another case where a retired employee’s failure to designate his wife-in this case his fifth-to receive a survivor’s annuity means she gets nothing.

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FLRA Member Pizzella on Excessive Interference and Abrogation

By on April 15, 2014 in Court Cases, Current Events with 4 Comments

In a negotiability case involving SSA and AFGE, FLRA Member Pizzella reminded the other members of a recent court ruling reversing a decision and taking those members to task for a theory that the court concluded ended up with two separate results on the same issue depending on which process it arose in. Member Pizzella’s opinion is quoted verbatim in the article and the author suggests it’s worth a read by practitioners.

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Breach of Settlement Agreement May Lead to Monetary Damage Award

The Merit Systems Protection Board is not the only forum to challenge OPM’s breach of its settlement agreement with a fired employee. He now gets his day in the claims court to seek monetary damages according to the appeals court.

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Supreme Court Backs Federal Circuit Over MSPB on Position Sensitivity Cases

By on April 1, 2014 in Court Cases, Current Events with 4 Comments

In denying a hearing on the matter (certiorari), the Supreme Court backed the Federal Circuit in setting limits on the MSPB’s jurisdiction to hear appeals of removals or other actions taken by an Agency when an employee loses the ability to hold a “sensitive” government job. As the author points out, many more Federal employees hold positions with a sensitive rating than do those with security clearances.

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What Does the Merit Systems Protection Board Have in Common with Federal Health Care Enrollment?

A balky website for filing appeals with the MSPB is turned aside as an excuse for missing the filing deadline by both the Board and the appeals court. The employee is therefore out of luck in trying to challenge her removal.

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Managing Leave and Attendance Problems

Leave abuse and attendance problems can harm an organization. The author says that these problems mostly lie with management and offers some suggestions for how to deal with the problem. He also analyzes the history of some related MSPB cases for precedent on leave issues.

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Fat Shaming Is Inappropriate in the Federal Workplace, Sometimes Harassment

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.

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