March 2017 Federal Employment Law Training Newsletter

Maybe Our System Really Is Broken

If you want the details, you’ll need to read the decisions. However, to a lay person trying to understand our civil service oversight system (and I include our leaders in Congress in this grouping), these are the only facts that matter and that make our civil service protection system appear to be bollocks:

  1. In 1996 (Billboard Number One Song of the Year: Macarena), MSPB held that the appellant had probably been constructively suspended relative to absences from work that commenced in 1990 (Billboard Number One Song of the Year: Hold On).
  2. In December 2016, in its “Final” Order in this case, 26 years after things started, MSPB ordered the Postal Service to pay the appellant’s attorney $100,734 in legal fees and costs. As part of its adjudication of attorney fees in this case, MSPB had to decide whether3 hours sending a fax was professional legal work or simply clerical work, among other high level decisions, Schultz v. USPS, PH-0752-94-0233-M-1 (2016)(NP).

Whether you fiercely love the civil service as we do here at FELTG or loathe the civil service as some of our elected officials seem to do, you have to admit that there’s something wrong with this process.

In Hold On, Wilson Phillips sings, “I know there’s pain. Why do you lock yourself up in these chains?” For those planning our new civil service, these lyrics might be a good mood setter. Also, Holding On might be a good approach to take for all civil servants for the next couple of years.

However, here at FELTG, we’re sticking with the Macarena view of life: “Dale a tu cuerpo alegria … Hey, Macarena!”

Bill Signature

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How Should You Document Misconduct?

By Deborah Hopkins, March 15, 2017 In response to last month’s article about letters of counseling doing more harm than good (Another Reason to do Away with letters of Counseling), I received the below letter. Since this covers questions a number of you have, I...

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Official Time: What’s Considered Reasonable?

By Deryn Sumner, March 15, 2017 Under the EEOC’s regulations at 29 C.F.R. 1614.605(b), complainants who are employees of the agency are allowed “a reasonable amount of official time” while on duty hours to do tasks relating to their EEO complaints.  This includes time...

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Employment Lawyers Having Drinks

By William Wiley, March 15, 2017 They say that one does not want to watch either laws or sausage being made. I might add to that list that’s it’s better not to watch employment lawyers having drinks. A couple of weeks ago, I was having dinner with two of the best...

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