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2007

Blog Posts in 2007

  • MSPB: What is a coerced retirement?

    There are several types of appeals which can be made to the MSPB which are “constructive” in nature. A constructive action occurs when the Agency didn’t actually take an action but can still be held liable as if they took the action. One example of a constructive action is a constructive suspension. Another type of constructive action is the coerced retirement. Typically, the MSPB does not have ...
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  • Federal Employee EEOC: Third-party and Bystander Sexual harassment.

    Most employees do not know that they do not have to be the actual victim of a “sexual harasser” to be harmed by sexual harassment. People who are not the target of sexual harassment but who work in environments where sex harassment is occurring can file “third party” and “bystander” harassment suits. These types of claims can be filed by men or women. There are two types of third-party sexual ...
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  • The Prejudice against Mental Health.

    The general public is not nearly as sympathetic to disabling mental health conditions as they are to disabling physical conditions. That’s the prejudice that those who suffer from mental health conditions are up against. I was reminded of this in a recent hearing. Our client had a severe mental health condition, and had been out of work for several weeks to seek treatment of this condition – she ...
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  • MSPB: What is a constructive suspension and can it be appealed to the MSPB?

    An increasing number of cases before the Board seem to involve the issue of constructive suspension. What is a constructive suspension? A constructive suspension occurs when, through no fault of her own, an employee is absent from work for more than fourteen (14) days, with a loss in pay. A constructive suspension can only occur when the Agency – not the employee – initiated the absence. If the ...
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  • MSPB: What is a Performance Improvement Period (PIP)?

    An Agency may take action based on performance in two ways – as a performance issue under 5 CFR Part 432 or a conduct issue under 5 C.F.R. Part 752. Before taking a performance action under 5 CFR Part 432, the Agency must allow the Federal employee a reasonable opportunity to improve his or her performance. This period, commonly known as a “PIP”, is also known as an improvement period, opportunity ...
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  • Federal EEO: EEOC Awards USPS employee $8,000 in failure to accommodate case

    In an August 22, 2007, decision, the Office of Federal Operations (OFO) of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found the USPS liable for failure to reasonably accommodate. Bratsch v. U.S.P.S., EEOC Appeal No. 0120071942 (August 22, 2007). The OFO ordered the Agency to pay $8,000.00 in non-compensatory pecuniary damages. (The OFO adjudicates appeals of Federal Agency decisions on ...
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  • MSPB: 3 Major Orders from your MSPB Judge

    Over the next couple days, I want to briefly discuss the 3 major orders you will receive from your Judge in an MSPB Hearing. They are: 1) the Acknowledgment Order; 2) the Scheduling Order; and, 3) the Pre-Hearing Summary. There are a few other orders, but I will only talk about the big ones right now. 1) Acknowledgment Order -You will receive this order within 3-14 days after filing your MSPB ...
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  • MSPB: What does it mean for the MSPB to lack jurisdiction over your appeal?

    Even after you appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), your case may be dismissed for “lack of jurisdiction”. This simply means that the MSPB does not have the authority to hear your appeal. Here are some examples of situations where the MSPB lacks jurisdiction: The MSPB does not have jurisdiction over employees whose positions have been specifically excluded. You can see a list of 12 ...
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  • OPM Retirement and Powers of Attorney

    If either of these cases sounds like you, please contact the Law Office of Eric L. Pines, PLLC : 1) On behalf of a spouse who was a federal employee, you utilized your Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney or Statutory Power of Attorney to elect your spouse’s right to an Alternative Form of Annuity (AFA). 2) On behalf of a spouse who was a federal employee, you utilized your Power of ...
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  • Telecommuting for Federal Employees: An idea whose time is here.

    This Washington Post article highlights another potential change in the federal workforce. This proposed change would require more federal managers to allow their employees to work from home. This is going to be a tough sell to an entire generation of managers. Back in the day when I was a government attorney, I suggested the idea that we E-file our appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board ( ...
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  • Congress looking at more Family Friendly workplace.

    This Washington Post article details some recent efforts in Congress to enhance leave options for Federal Employees who have a child, adopt a child or who have health conditions requiring treatment. I encourage you to write to your Congressional representative and encourage him or her to back the Maloney-Hoyer-Davis proposal. In all likelihood, it probably won’t pass into law without a Democrat in ...
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  • Federal Disability Retirement: Bruner Presumption

    After reading a couple recent MSPB decisions, I thought it might be helpful to briefly address a less than well-known case in MSPB jurisprudence – the Bruner presumption. Bruner v. Office of Personnel Management, 996 F.2d 290 (Fed.Cir.1993). When a Federal agency removes an employee for “medical inability to perform the essential functions of the job”, that employee is presumed to be eligible for ...
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  • Federal Disability Retirement: 5 Steps to Prove Eligibility for FERS Disability Retirement, Step 5

    In a previous post, we outlined “5 Steps to Prove Eligibility for FERS Disability Retirement.” We outlined the 5 basic steps: Eligibility, Disability, Continuity, Reassignment, and Appeal. This post will discuss Step 5: Appeal. You’ve shown that you are eligible for disability retirement, your disease/injury is preventing you from providing useful and efficient service, and the Agency is unable to ...
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  • Federal Disability Retirement: 5 Steps to Prove Eligibility for FERS Disability Retirement: Step 4.

    In a previous post, we outlined “5 Steps to Prove Eligibility for FERS Disability Retirement.” We outlined the 5 basic steps: Eligibility, Disability, Continuity, Reassignment, and Appeal. This post will discuss Step 4: Reassignment. Before counseling an employee to seek disability retirement or supporting an employee’s application for disability retirement, an Agency must make every reasonable ...
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  • Federal Disability Retirement: 5 Steps to Prove Eligibility for FERS Disability Retirement: Step 3

    In a previous post, we outlined “5 Steps to Prove Eligibility for FERS Disability Retirement.” We outlined the 5 basic steps: Eligibility, Disability, Continuity, Reassignment, and Appeal This post will discuss Step 3: Continuity. We touched on this step in an earlier post. In order to qualify for benefits, you must have an injury or disease that is likely to continue for one (1) year from its ...
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