A VA Medical Center employee was fired for, among other charges, brandishing a knife, but he argued it was a “utility utensil.”
As usual, the attorneys that filed class action lawsuits fared much better than those they are representing in this case involving the Department of Veterans Affairs. Attorneys suing the VA wanted 25% of a $20 million fund, or $5 million. The judge decided they would get only 18% or $3.6 million. Represented veterans got from $75 to $1500.
An agency can find itself in the middle of a political and media firestorm quickly and unexpectedly. The Dept. of Veterans Affairs has found itself in the middle of another controversy it doesn’t want. The relatively new political appointee caught in the middle is undergoing a trial by fire.
This VA employee thought he should be paid at a higher grade level; OPM disagreed.
An employee of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs was fired for failing to follow a supervisor’s instructions and then used “disrespectful language and made inappropriate statements.” The employee argued that she was a whistleblower and that the agency had committed procedural error but, after all appeals, remains a former federal employee.
An employee of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs signed a “last chance” agreement and waived his appeal rights in order to be reinstated as a federal employee with the agency after having been charged with using government computers for sending “obscene material.” The agency invoked the agreement several months later and fired him and another federal employee case headed to the courts.
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled constitutional a regulation that led to the VA denying access to the Menlo Park, California facility for the purpose of registering veterans to vote.
Sometimes agency policy decisions can create a strong emotional reaction from the public.
What will a court and the Merit Systems Protection Board consider in determing whether the firing of a federal employee is reasonable? This employee of the VA tested the system and found her firing upheld as a reasonable penalty under the circumstances.
The attrition rate at VBA for certain employees is about 17 percent. GAO recommends collecting data and analyzing why this is occurring.