HOW TO FIGHT AN AWOL DISCIPLINARY ACTION
The “NY Times” recently posted a story about an employee fired for being late 47 times over 10 months. It highlights one way a union can defend a member disciplined for AWOL no matter what the employee’s civil rights protected class. We recommend you read, “She Said Equinox Fired Her for Being a Black Woman. A Jury Agreed.” Then demand the data you need the next time you are involved in an AWOL case.
BEWARE THE BLACK AND WHITE TOP UNION LEADER
National union leaders seem to have a tendency to see the world as black or white. They refuse to recognize the world’s gray despite the fact that unions are all about pointing out to agency management the foggy gray areas when it proposes to terminate a member. As a result, top union leaders often terminate non-unit staffers unprotected by collective bargaining agreements when something far less punitive would do the job. Although the extreme extermination option makes them feel morally superior to others and even gives them a rise, here is how they are hurting their union: Continue reading →
FDIC MANAGERS COULD TEACH UNION LEADERS SOMETHING
Imagine a team of agency IT people spent years and over $1,000,000. developing software to solve a big agency problem no private vender could and that it worked like a charm. But one day someone in management noticed that it made a serious mistake once on one of the many tasks it was written to handle. Would the proper top management response be (a) to pull the software, destroy it as a lost cause, and write off the million dollars invested in it or (b) to shut down the software’s work in one area and continue to benefit from everything else it can do? Continue reading →
WHY ALL FEDERAL EMPLOYEE UNIONS’ TOP LEADERS ARE HYPOCRITES
That’s right, even though the staffers at Fedsmill consider themselves to be diehard supporters of unions, we must call a foul when we see top union leaders behave so miserably toward a group of their employees. Every federal employee who completes a probationary or trial period is entitled to challenge an agency’s decision to fire him or her to a hearing before a third party neutral. Moreover, this neutral can not only order the terminated employee reinstated, but in certain cases give money damages beyond any back pay entitlement and order the agency to consider discipline the agency manager who imposed the termination. Additionally, even those employees no longer in the bargaining unit, namely those who became managers or confidential employees are entitled to due process before being fired. Finally, as best as I can tell the non-supervisory staff of every federal employee union has formed their own union and have the right to challenge any disciplinary action to arbitration. That leaves only one group of employees on the staff of these unions or among the people they represent who are totally exposed to unfair, arbitrary, capricious and retaliatory terminations without an opportunity to challenge. I am talking about… Continue reading →
ARE UNIONS LISTENING TO EEOC’S WARNINGS ABOUT AI?
Probably not? But EEOC deserves high marks for all the effort it is making to get the word out there. What is its message? One, Federal agencies are starting to use Artificial Intelligence software to make promotion selections, discipline, and other major personnel decisions. Two, … Continue reading →
THIS MSPB COVER-UP IS OUTRAGEOUS
This case came to our attention because some anti-employee bloggers characterized the MSPB’s decision as “saving” the Dep’t. of Army from a series of blunders its managers committed while firing an employee. But make no mistake, this is an MSPB cover-up, not some well-intended helping hand. This case explains why employees should always choose to appeal adverse actions to a certified neutral arbitrator rather than MSPB. It also confirms that MSPB gladly will distribute “Get Out of Jail” cards to help management fire an employee. Here is a quick summary of what happened. Continue reading →
AGENCY PIP DISCRIMINATORY; EMPLOYEE REINSTATED
A deaf/Hard of Hearing employee could read lips in one-on-one conversations, but needed an accommodation to participate in group conversations. Consequently, his performance suffered and the agency put him on a PIP, which ended in his termination. But… Continue reading →
WORKPLACE ROMANCES: HERE ARE THE DATA
Forbes Magazine published an article recently entitled “Workplace Romance Statistics.” It delivers a bundle of very sound data showing that organizational leaders that feel a need to stamp out workplace romances are direct descendants of the most puritanical Puritans who arrived on the Mayflower and went on to burn witches in Salem. These cultural troglodytes cost their organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars in trained, experienced, and tested talent by firing the romantics just to satisfy a moral itch. Fortunately, the best union leaders are working to support staff who develop an affection for one another. Even where there is a power disparity within a couple, such as when a supervisor has a relationship with a subordinate, history has shown that the best way to deal with that is to find a way to separate them organizationally–not interrogate, intimidate and fire them. If the romance or post-romance seems to adversely impact their performance, go after them for the performance flaws, not for having had a romance.
CONSTRUCTIVE DISCHARGE GENERATES FIVE YEARS BACK PAY & BOOSTED ANNUITY
When does discrimination become so bad that the employee can resign or retire and claim s/he had been constructively discharged? Continue reading →
WHEN ARE UNION-EMPLOYEE CONVERSATIONS CONFIDENTIAL?
The short answer is, “Most times, but not always.” The FLRA rolled out a decision recently making that crystal clear by endorsing management’s right to force a union representative to reveal to its investigators what an employee had told him in confidence. Continue reading →