Court Cases

Destroying a Federal Career for $96

By on October 21, 2008 in Court Cases, Current Events with 0 Comments

How much is your career as a federal employee worth? A Senior Border Patrol Agent was fired for shoplifting about $96 worth of goods. The case went through the whole administrative process and into the federal court system. He is still a former federal employee despite the appeals.

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"Litigation as a Form of Costless Entertainment"

By on October 6, 2008 in Court Cases, Current Events with 0 Comments

The Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has run out of patience with a frequent litigant. In a case involving the Social Security Administration, the court revoked this plaintiff’s privilege of filing without paying filing fees and dismissed his 44 pending cases.

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Crying Poverty Leads to Dismissal of Employee Complaint

By on October 2, 2008 in Court Cases, Current Events with 0 Comments

An employee at the Department of Education said she could not afford a legal filing fee of $250. She avoided the filing fee based on her representation of not having any substantial assets. The judge was unhappy when, according to the court, she underestimated her assets by more than $562,000. Case dismissed.

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Not Eligible to Retire? What Happens if You Create New Data for Your Retirement Application?

By on September 15, 2008 in Court Cases, Current Events with 0 Comments

A federal engineer was going to be fired after giving false information. The agency agreed to let him retire. He then lied on his retirement application and was indicted. OPM terminated his retirement annuity as he did not meet the age requirement. A court finds the settlement agreement could not prohibit the agency from reporting misconduct to the appropriate authority for prosecution and he does not have a case.

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You Go, Governor!

By on September 5, 2008 in Court Cases, Current Events with 0 Comments

Who would have predicted that the “maternal wall” would have become a political issue in this year’s campaign? This former NASA attorney looks at the legality of some of the questions or opinions of the media regarding Alaska Governor Sarah Palin–and how these compare to EEOC guidance on the “Maternal Wall.”

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"Drill Here, Drill Now"

By on August 27, 2008 in Court Cases, Current Events with 0 Comments

“Drill here, drill now” has become a political hot topic as gas prices have been soaring. One argument against drilling: The oil companies are not even drilling with existing leases. A decision from a federal appeals court finds that the government reneged on off-shore leases off the California coast and kept the companies from exploring and tapping off-shore resources. The government has been ordered to pay more than $1.1 billion to the leaseholders.

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Personal Expenses and Canceled Leave

By on August 22, 2008 in Court Cases, Current Events with 0 Comments

If an agency cancels an employee’s leave that had been approved, should the agency be liable for the employee’s expenses? An agency and a union agreed to such a provision but it was disapproved by by the agency as being outside the agency’s duty to bargain. A federal court has agreed with that position.

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Appeal of "Patently Unfair" Job Requirement is a Loser in Court

By on August 15, 2008 in Court Cases, Current Events with 0 Comments

An Air Force Air Traffic Control Specialist was fired for not maintaining a certification required by the agency. A court upholds the agency’s right to set requirements, despite the former employee’s assertion that the requirement was “patently unfair.”

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Administrative Remedies, Tort Claims and the Privacy Act

By on August 12, 2008 in Court Cases, Current Events with 0 Comments

A federal court has handed another defeat to Joseph and Valerie Plame Wilson in their efforts to receive damages from various high-level officials, including Vice President Cheney.

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Employee Gets Another Appeal Despite "Last Chance" Agreement

A federal employee who was found to be “rude and obnoxious” ended up being fired as the incident occurred after he had already signed a “last chance” agreement with the agency. The employee waived his appeal rights with the agreement but a federal court sends the case back to the MSPB anyway.

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