SECRETARY ZINKE IS INCOMPETENT, AND THE UNION WAS NOT MUCH BETTER

The EEOC just issued a default judgment against the Secretary because he was unable to produce a Report of Investigation (ROI) on an EEO employee’s complaint in less than 400 days, which is far in excess of the regulatory deadline. As a result of the Secretary’s incompetence, the U.S. Government will now have to spend taxpayers’ money to retroactively reinstate and reimburse an employee terminated as a probationer way back in in March 2011. That will include all the promotions she should have received, awards, overtime, etc. not to mention seven years of seniority, pensions contributions, health insurance coverage, etc.  The Secretary should get down off that horse he is constantly posing on to build his image and actually get the work of government done. As far as we are concerned, he owes the public an apology as well as a promise to pay this tab himself.  HOW HARD IS IT TO PRODUCE AN ROI ON A SINGLE EMPLOYEE’S PROBATIONARY TERMINATION IN 365 DAYS WHEN YOU HAVE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR YOU?   Continue reading

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PANEL CONTINUES TO IMPOSE ILLEGAL, UNENFORCEABLE (AND CLUELESS) DECISIONS

Not long ago, we wrote about the Panel exceeding its legal authority by imposing a contract clause even more onerous on the union than what the agency had proposed.  But that is hardly the only example of illegal activity by the anti-union political operatives at the current Panel.  Ironically, when the Panel does impose contract provisions in violation of law the harmed party, which will ALWAYS be the union under this Panel, can refuse to accept the Order and file to have it declared unenforceable. Here is how that might work. Continue reading

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DHS MANAGERS’ SWORN STATEMENTS “SUSPICIOUSLY THIN AND VAPOROUS AND NOT SUPPORTED BY THE RECORD” SAYS EEOC

The facts of yet another Homeland Security merit promotion EEOC case brought a big smile to our faces. No other agency manipulates the law, regulations, the truth, and its people like DHS—although a few are hot on its heels. In this case, a highly experienced, long-time employee filed an EEO charge alleging discrimination when she was not selected. DHS managers instead chose a newcomer to the agency as well as the occupational field of the vacancy. Continue reading

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HOW AGENCY COUNSELS UNETHICALLY INFLUENCE EEO INVESTIGATIONS

Attorneys are supposed to aggressively represent their clients, but they are also required to avoid acting unethically.  The EEOC just issued a decision reminding agency attorneys of that.  It found that attorneys representing SSA management improperly interfered with the EEO investigation process by helping agency managers draft their affidavits, giving them “feedback” when they wrote things the agency attorney felt would hurt the agency. EEOC wrote that, “However, during the informal counseling stage and the investigation into the accepted issues of the complaint, the agency representative should not have a role in shaping the testimony of the witnesses or the evidence gathered by the EEO Investigator.” That means agency attorneys may not review or assist agency witnesses in drafting testimony.  The Commission made clear that if the attorney’s interference impacts the ultimate decision it will impose sanctions, which could include sustaining the employee’s complaint for interference reasons alone. In fact, interference by anyone in management would be wrong.Seems like in every future case employee attorneys should be asking agency witnesses if the agency attorney played any role in preparing their affidavit, disclosing evidence, etc.  Check out Josefina L.  v. SSA EEOC No. 0120161760 (2018)

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TRUMP’S UNION-KILLING EXECUTIVE ORDERS OVERTURNED BY THE COURTS – REVISED

It is a 119-page decision, but here are the highlights in the Judge’s own words. “…the President’s policy choices as reflected in the challenged executive orders do not align with the policy preferences of Congress, and in this Court’s view, that contention is undoubtedly true as well. In short, there is no dispute that the principle mission of the FSLMRS is to protect the collective bargaining rights of federal workers, based on Congress’s clear and unequivocal finding that “labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the public interest.” Continue reading

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EEOC RULES CUSTOMS & BORDER PROTECTION “UNWORTHY OF BELIEF” AGAIN

It is no secret that too many managers in CBP play it fast and loose with the merit selection rules. So, it warms our heart to see the EEOC confirming once again CBP managers are not to be believed even when testifying under oath.  As a law enforcement agency, you would think that CBP leaders would be intensely concerned about repeated government findings that its managers do not tell the truth, but there is little evidence of that so far. Continue reading

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AGENCY ATTORNEY FEE ASSAULT SHIFTS INTO OVERDRIVE

It is no secret that agencies are pushing harder than ever to reduce the costs of collective bargaining, and one of the most aggressive assaults is against a union rep’s right to get attorney fees when s/he wins a case yielding almost any kind of back pay. That effort has shifted into high gear with the circulation inside the management LR community of a 20-page PowerPoint outlining how to attack fees and a couple of cases now before the FLRA that will give it a chance to plunder precedent at the unions’ expense, which seems to be its current raison d’etre.  Among the management bargaining table likely demands are the following: Continue reading

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A PEEK AT TRUMP’S PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT MESS

The President has issued Executive Orders that greatly discourage from treating similarly situated employees the same when taking action for poor performance. He wants the path clear for a manager to clobber one employee while coddling another even though they have the same performance deficiency.  That is his idea of fairness.  We will soon see whether the courts allow his Orders to take effect, but in the meantime let’s look ahead to what employees and their representatives will be able to do if they do become effective. Continue reading

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ON VACATION

We are taking a break until mid-August in order to drag the staff around the Mediterranean on the annual Fedsmill retreat to identify new ideas. See ya.

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NEW STUDY CONFIRMS AMERICAN WORKERS ARE GETTING RIPPED OFF

Here is a very interesting article from New York magazine that should prove interesting to anyone wondering about the actual facts about how employees are doing economically today.

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