| Read Time: 2 minutes | Hybrid Title 38

Title 38 vs. Hybrid 38: What’s the Difference?

There are unique sets of federal laws and regulations surrounding Veterans Affairs (VA) personnel, such as wage and hour matters, leave, discrimination, and disciplinary actions. Two common categories that VA employees fall under include Title 38, Title 5, and Hybrid 38. One of the most common challenges that VA employees face is understanding the different laws surrounding Veterans Affairs...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | V.A.

What Is it Like to Work for the VA?

Working for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) provides job security, benefits, and ample opportunity for career advancement. According to Glassdoor, about 68% of VA employees would recommend their position to a friend. The most common benefits of working for the VA include steady employment and good benefits, but the most common drawbacks include employees feeling overworked and...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Federal Employee Rights

The VA’s Vaccine Mandate: What It Means for You as a Title 38 Medical Professional

We are living in unprecedented times: the Federal Government is now mandating that a group of its employees must receive a vaccination or else they can be fired. Of course, the big question is whether this is legal. The short answer is yes but it is not as simple as yes or no.See https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/guides-pubs/downloads/vacc_mandates_chptr13.pdf at page 273 for an...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | V.A.

No Retroactive VA “Accountability” for the Third Time

The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act (the Act) was enacted by Congress in 2017 and has provided the agency a “fast track” to suspend, demote, and terminate Title 5 VA employees. However, for the third time since the law was passed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in Brenner v. Department of Veterans Affairs in March 2021 that the VA...

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Federal Employee Rights

FLRA Rules Against Trump, Orders Rehiring of Fired VA Employees

How the Trump Administration’s Implementation of a 2017 Law Resulted in Inappropriate Terminations President Trump has made the purging of ineffective government employees a central priority for his administration. The 2017 Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protections Act is one legislative vehicle supporting that aim, a law that purportedly makes it easier for the department to terminate incompetent or...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Federal Employee Rights

Appeals Court Upholds VA Employee’s Removal Despite Whistleblower Claims

In an April 17 decision, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with an administrative judge that the VA’s decision to remove an employee who claimed to be suffering from PTSD was lawful under its circumstances. Sean Higgins was suspended and eventually fired from the VA in June 2017 based on charges related to “disruptive behavior and use of...

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Federal Employee Rights

In the Age of COVID-19, Do All Federal Employees Get Hazard Pay?

As the number of those infected by the new strain of coronavirus continues to pitch upward, employees who can’t work from home – especially those in essential roles – have been agitating for hazard pay. Companies like Costco and Target are bumping up pay for workers (but stop short of referring to it as compensation for working under potentially...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | V.A.

Inspector General Says VA is Failing to Protect Whistleblowers

A new report shows that an office designed to protect whistleblowers is actually making it easier for employers to retaliate against them. The findings in the report backup complaints that VA employees and whistleblower advocates have filed since President Trump created the department’s Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection (OAWP). The office was established under an executive order in...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | V.A.

Trump’s VA Law Under Fire After Hawkins’ Case Decision

In June 2017, President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan bill that makes it easier to terminate workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)—by rolling back protections afforded to civil service jobs throughout the federal government. As soon as the law was in effect, firings increased by 60 percent during the second half of 2017 compared to the first....

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Federal Employee Rights

New Union Contract Would Gut Telework, Official Time, & Employee Rights

On May 2nd, the Veterans Affairs Department announced a proposal to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with its federal employee union. The V.A.’s union is the largest federal employee union in the United States. However, the announcement signals that the V.A. will be making a concentrated effort to severely restrict the use of official time. According to V.A....

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