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62 Responses to Contact Us

  1. D. Long says:

    Could you please go over the latest guidance from EEOC, as well as current ADAA case law, concerning reasonable accommodations and a potential covid19 vaccine requirement for federal employees. Especially regarding persons with severe allergies and/or auto immune conditions where the vaccine may pose a deadly threat to the employee.

    • AdminUN says:

      We do not provide that kind of advice. however. go to and type in COVID in the search box. You will get about 70 EEOC documents on the topics you raise, e.g., “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.”

  2. Roman Goldstein says:

    Could you please fix the link to the arbitrator’s opinion at the end of “How to measure management unfairness”, I’m very interested in this topic. Thank you for your great work!

  3. Bill says:

    The Article, “MAKING NEW PROPOSALS AFTER BARGAINING BEGINS There is a little-known court case that authorizes union negotiators to make totally new proposals in the middle of negotiations” under the bargaining tactics topic doesn’t have a link to anything. I’d love to read it but it just isn’t there…

  4. Scott Hennessy says:

    Can you do a short piece on what to expect in the short term regarding Kiko/Abbott, their respective terms, which one might stay, and which might go due to their term expirations…perhaps both may go now since Biden won? What is the typical process at FLRA when there is a new administration?

    • AdminUN says:

      I will think about a full article, but in the meantime here is what I think happens. Abbott and Dubester must leave the Authority at the end of this Congressional term in early January. (If there is an exception to that rule, I am unaware of it.) Kiko’s term goes into 2022, but she cannot issue any decisions until at least one other person is appointed. Theoretically, Trump could nominate a replacement and the Senate confirm that person before the end of this Congress, but that is very unlikely. Similarly, the Senate could confirm Trump’s current nominee for FLRA GC before the end of this Congress. That is more likely–and she is brutally anti-union. If they do not, it will probably take a couple of months for Biden to send up his own General Counsel nomination. By then we will know whether the Senate is going to block all Biden appointments like it did Obama’s supreme court nominee or let Biden govern.
      Biden can fire the entire FSIP seconds after he takes the oath and replace them without Senate confirmation in the next second. That never happens that quickly. The chances are good that the unions get Biden to fire the current Panel within days of his oath, but it will probably be two months before they are replaced.
      The biggest unknown is how quickly Biden will terminate the three Trump anti-union executive orders and what he will replace them with. In an ideal world, he orders all agency heads who signed agreements while those ExO’s were in effect to reopen those agreements to correct the most abusive provisions.
      Then there is the issue of nominating and getting approved a new OPM director so that the anti-union and anti-employee OPM regs issued under Trump can be terminated and replaced. That could take a year to fully cycle through.
      That is all I got.

  5. Roman Goldstein says:

    Whatever happened to the Automated Representational Assistance System? Did anyone ever fund it? It’s a terrific idea.

  6. Suzanne Moseman says:

    A grievance was filed but the agency (SSA) took the case out of the grievance process and into their new harassment process. They sent a team to investigate, and came down with a ruling that involves discipline.
    1. how do we fight harassment cases? Can we do that at all? It’s outside of the contract. Agency cited Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq.; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. 621, et seq.; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq.; The ADA Amendments Act of 2008; The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 501), 29 U.S.C. 791; The Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act), Pub. L. 107-174; Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), Pub. L. 110-233; Executive Order 13087, Executive Order 13152, and further amendments to Executive Order 11478 and Executive Order 11246.
    2. Can we file a grievance or ULP on the disciplinary action that the harassment team wants to impose?

    • AdminUN says:

      Yes, youo can file a grievance on nearly anything. But that is all we can offer because our policy is not to provide advice on specific cases. I can’t tell what unit or union you are with, but whichever it is contact someone on the national or regional staff.

  7. Marjorie H. Bujake says:

    I’m facing a proposed termination and would like a referral for an MSPB attorney in CA.

  8. Paul says:

    May 8, 2018 post by AdminUN: “When Agency Awards Discriminate”

    I can find no reference to the EEO citation provided in this article on the EEOC website (Gilda M. v. Department of Agriculture) Appeal #0120140791

    Are you folks making this stuff up?

  9. Thank you for establishing and maintaining this website.
    It is phenomenally helpful for my training and research needs.

    (BTW, is your archive fully searchable?)


  10. ningauble3020 says:

    The management decided to lock one of our 2 exit doors to protect important documents from the public. My immediate supervisor issued the employees in our unit keys to unlock the locked exit door. We make decisions that impact Veteran’s benefits and sometimes those decisions are denials. Sometimes the Veterans gets very upset about denials. We have had an active shooter event on federal grounds. Also, if there is a fire, what if the lock jams or a key breaks? We have an employee with walking impairments that uses crutches to walk.

    As a team, we have elevated the issue to no avail. Should we grieve? What would you do?

  11. adelena marshall says:

    I posted a copy of a grievance and the response on a common use bulletin board in the hall of a ER dept. visible to staff and public. the manager remove the grievance and reply but not the other union flyers. Her name and manager was on the grievance but no employees. is this a ULP and if so how do I file one on this. There is no union bulletin board in the area. The grievance was for bulling and intimidation of staff.

  12. TCB says:

    From all indication, one might assumed that CBP has a shortage of 1895 CBP Officer to fill the many vacancies that currently exist within the agency. Suggestion! Open these position up for retired 1895 officers, under your current rehire program. Or possible provide streamline approach, to have retired officers to return back to duty, to fill these much needed vacancies. Possible this could be a simple solution, to a current existing problem. This is a win-win situation for all involved, because the officer is already trained “money saver”, under the rehire program they can not work overtime “Money saver”, plus you are getting quality officer who know the rope, and can hit the ground running “Money saver again.

  13. Tim Emery says:

    On January 30, 2015 there was a FEDSMILL article about a 6101 settlement . Would you please update the status of FLRA decision in this case.

  14. TCB says:

    Retired Customs and Border Protection Officer in Texas. The agency has open up Reemployment Annuitant position within the agency for retirees. For us former employees who have submitted and application for these open position, but have not been contacted on the disposition of there application! Who do we call to get a straight answer regarding this process.

  15. Pete says:

    Is there any Federal law prohibiting retaliation for filing Federal Workers Compensation? I have searched high and low, I can’t find any. I found several state laws, but no Federal laws. What is your advice for filing a grievance for someone who has been retaliated against for filing workers compensation?

  16. Brenda says:

    Can an agency use essays in the hiring process after the best qualified list has been established to determine which candidate then is eligible for an interview? If the candidate does not score high enough on the essay, they are out of the running for the vacancy.

  17. Thinker says:

    I was wondering if you had any information or thoughts regarding so-called “Scientific Integrity” policies? Case law? These policies have been around, but they are recently getting more attention by Agencies. Policies with like names used by universities and publishers have substantially different purposes. Three possible issues are: 1) What offenses properly fall within “Scientific Misconduct,” 2) What are the Elements of Proof for those offenses and 3) What are the appropriate punishments? As an example, “plagiarism” is a violation, but it may not be quite as simple as literally copying someone else’s work. Copy Right law, although it discusses some of the same things, doesn’t necessarily provide a template for questions of “Scientific Misconduct.” There’s much more to all of this than immediately meets the eye.

  18. Greg says:

    How about giving us your thoughts on two recent FLRA decisions and the impacts your see on the Federal workplace. Those two cases are:

    1) 68 FLRA 557

    2) 68 FLRA 510

  19. Dave says:

    FYI, when trying to “read more” on your recent article on which bathroom a transgender employee should use, the link is broken.

    Thanks for all your hard work in compiling and analyzing everything that you do!

  20. Sean says:

    Im trying to find an article written a few years ago, but it seems to have disappeared from your website. regarding post PIP protection. If you could put this up and/or email me a copy of this, that would be great. Thanks.

  21. Unionlvr says:

    I’ve attempted to read the article on NTEU’s BIG YEAR, but the article seems to have been pulled or is at least unavailable. Can you help me out?

  22. joe says:

    In your article HOW TO GRIEVE TEMPORARY PROMOTION DENIALS FEDSMILL cites to a case as IAM 5 FLRA 530 (1997). I cannot find this case anywhere on the FLRA cite. Is the citation correct?

  23. Union Rep says:

    CBP Preclearance Locations:
    We recently had an officer involuntarily reassigned back to the United States from an overseas preclearance location due to allegations of misconduct. While stationed abroad CBPO’s (Dept of Homeland Security) are under The Department of State. The U.S. Embassy advised CBP that they are recommending curtailing this officers assignment due to these allegations.
    CBP then issues this officer an official letter stating that he is being reassigned based
    on these allegations. This officer was not advised of what was the alleged conduct, (written or oral complaint) was not given an opportunity to respond, no explanation, no due process at all.
    Preclearance locations are a permanent change of station (PCS)
    CBP also totally disregarded the NTEU contract; bargaining, reassignments, employee rights, etc!!
    We found a similar case which stated that since CBP issued the letter and they are the officers employer then they are totally responsible for this personnel action. When they issued this official letter they accepted these allegations therefore triggering the officers due process rights. Neither Agency did an investigation. Officers don’t lose rights due to being overseas. We see rights violations, ppp’s, and bargaining violations. I’ve never seen such poor procedure in my years of being a steward. What do you guys think?

  24. Federal Register - FLRA says:

    Perhaps consider a post to your readers about FLRA’s recent notice in the Federal Register asking for comments on a pending ULP case. I have seen announcements sent on several management-heavy email lists, but I’m not sure if union folks know about the opportunity to comment on this particular issue. It sounds like the decision could have wide ranging implications for Weingarten rights in the federal sector. From the FLRA Press Releases page: “FLRA Seeks Customer Input on an Unfair-Labor-Practice (ULP) Issue (8/15/14)” . The site to the Federal Register Notice is

  25. Dave Cann says:


    • AdminUN says:

      Sorry, but the beauty of fedsmill is that the authors do not have to worry whether they might be offending their employers. Is there something wrong with it that we can fix or a question we can answer?

  26. Suzanne Moseman says:

    Hi, I’m the newsletter editor for AFGE Local 3129 (Social Security employees in Minnesota, Fargo North Dakota, and Superior Wisconsin). May I have permission to reprint your article WHAT UNION REPS CAN DO THAT EMPLOYEES CAN’T, which was posted on September 9, 2011? I’ll include a link to your website. If you prefer, I can write up an abstract of the article, give you full credit, and print the shorter version. I just ran across your site this week and I am so impressed and enthusiastic. I’m sharing it with our executive committee and will get it out to our membership as well. Thank you for all this incredibly important information!

  27. Lee Carroll says:

    Hi! I am still unable to read this very interesting article… could you fix this link too? –Lee

    Posted on June 1, 2013 by AdminUN


    • AdminUN says:

      Sorry, try it now. I guess the site has become popular enough that it is having tech problems–not the least of which is its owners. We promise to do better. Thanks for letting us know.

  28. N says:

    How do I send an email directly to Fedsmill editors?

  29. Gregory Russell says:

    your posts and updates have been absent… looking forward to some regular updates. I find this site to be very informative. Please get back to updating frequently.

  30. J says:

    We’ve been searching all over the place but have been unable to find a definitive answer to this question:

    If an employee is on light duty due to an injury and is detailed to a work site other than his/her permanent duty station, is that employee entitled the use of a GOV to travel to that work site? We have several employees that get injured who could start their day at their permanent station, pick up a GOV, and drive to the detail location. However, some managers are balking and not allowing this to happen. Have you seen this issue pop up before?

    If a GOV is not available, would that employee be entitled to having their mileage reimbursed?

    • AdminUN says:

      Sorry, but we do not offer advice in response to specific questions. And even if we did, this is a very complex one. Is the employee on light duty pursuant to a disability? Is the alternate POD in the commuting area? Is the alternate POD assignment something she requested? Did the employee perform any work at the location where she picked up the POV? Had thed normal workday begun when she picked up the POV?
      Even if we knew the answer to those questions, GSA and OPM regulations are so screwed up on the question of when travel time must be compensated it would still be difficult to say with certainty. Personally, we would probably file a grievance claiming compensation and see what management had to say to defend its position.
      We can see why you can’t find an answer. Sorry, but good luck.

  31. ecb says:

    your sarcasim in using mental health diagnosis in the article UNTIMELY DISCIPLINE SUGGESTS CBP MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER
    or in ANY article is a slap in the face to the thousands of individuals/families that struggle with mental health everyday. Articles like this continue to reinforce the stigma of mental health treatment. It is entirely inappropiate to use psychiatric labels metaphorically and it is even more ghastly when they are using it to make a point about someone being ill treated: truly hypocritical. I hope FEDSMILL addresses this issue and issues an apology to all readers.

    • AdminUN says:

      Sorry for not getting back to you for so long. You presented an interesting comment. Although we had thought the question through before we posted the piece, we reexamined it after reading your thoughts.

      The last thing in the world we wanted to do was be insensitive to the disabled. As you can see, we post a lot of articles educating our readers about the many rights of the disabled in the hopes that they will pursue them. Unions can and should be doing a lot more with reasonable accommodation requests and outright discriminaiton than they are–and we want to change that.

      On the other hand, we never want to treat the disabled community like China dolls that are too delicate and too easily offended that we should not treat them like everyone else or even talk about them in what some “might” perceive as offensive. Stated differently, we believe in treating them just like “one of the boys” to borrow an expression. For example, we would not hesitate to call a denial of a Caucasion employee’s civil rights “racism” just because racism is felt most severly by minorities.

      Based on that view of the publishing world, we decided that it is OK to use the a mental health diagnostic term on organizations just as it is on individuals. We admit that is not clinically proper because most medical experts believe that only individuals can suffer mental illness not organizations. But there are academics who believe they can. We are not alone.

      We were also waiting to see if we got any more feedback similar to yours. Thankfully, no.

      So, let us close with not just this explanation, but an apology if we offended you. Thanks for reading FEDSMILL.

  32. Valentenia Daugherty says:

    Our Nursing Executive recently implemented a policy mandating Nurse Managers to cahrge an employee (RNs) with AWOL if their ACLS was not up to date. Previously, notification would be provided that this requirement was upcoming and nurses given a chance to complete without penalty. All within a reasonable amount of time. I believe AA was given. Now AWOLs are given. My question is “Can management institute a policy with no prior notificiation of possible adverse action if policy is violated”?

  33. Current FDIC Employee says:

    The Dallas FDIC office continues to rely on Veterans preference to “legally” exclude hiring women, even going as far as using confidential health-related information to get out of hiring a female veteran. Human Resource Management is supplying Dallas ORE dept. non-management personnel confidential resumes and vetting the resumes amongst technicians and secretaries who are choosing who get moved on in the process by deciding “who they like or know”. In addition, the answers to the interview questions are being provided in advance to “favored” employees. I will gladly provide copies.

  34. Thanks for the kind words on my work, but its a COLUMN, not a story, the difference being reporters (used to be) write stories that are neutral reportage, I use the same facts but get to have a point of view based on the facts for Reuters.

  35. Nancy Nolan says:

    ANSWER: Almost always. Continue reading →
    Clicking on Continue reading leads nowhere.

  36. Nick Bartzis says:

    QUESTION: WHEN IS A PIP A ULP? ANSWER: Almost always.????

    Alright, you guys are really going to have to explain this……

    • Nick Bartzis says:

      Contact Us
      If there is something you want us to know, perhaps a suggestion, that is unrelated to a specific article, then send it along by completing the comment section below. Leave an e-mail address if you want a response.

      6 Responses to Contact Us
      Nick Bartzis says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      December 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm
      QUESTION: WHEN IS A PIP A ULP? ANSWER: Almost always.????

      Alright, you guys are really going to have to explain this……

      A ULP is a violation of Labor Law Statute, 5 USC CH71. Which law specificially was violated by a PIP and what is the theory that this violation isn’t ‘Covered By’ the contract?

    • AdminUN says:

      Now we get it. Check it again. It should be there now.

  37. D. Boyer says:

    I would like to “unsubscribe” …especially since I never signed up for these emails in the first place. Your assistance and understanding are appreciated.

  38. Anthony D. McCray says:

    please assist with direction on subscription

  39. Joe Corcoran says:

    I have been unable to locate any identifying information about or Fedsmill LLC, and I am suspicious as to why none of the articles are attributed to an author. (?)

    • AdminUN says:

      Just want to preserve anonymity. Nothing sinister. Check us out for a few months to see if we try anything odd. Thanks for asking the questions, at least.

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