TWO FEDS GET SHARE OF $1.7 MILLION FINE AGAINST CHEATING CONTRACTORS

Private contractors are everywhere in government because a bundle of politicians believe that private sector firms can always do the work faster, better, and cheaper than federal employees.  I could give you a list as long as my arm of studies and cases where that was shown to be wildly untrue, but the politicians love the campaign contributions contractors send with the money they get from federal contractors.  In any event, federal employees are in the best position to spot when contractors are padding their bills or otherwise defrauding the government. Consequently, while they should know that when they do they can get a share of the fine the government imposes on the contractor, the first step is to make sure stewards know about this.  After all, they are most likely to hear co-workers talking about any contractor rip-offs. So, we thought we would pass along a post from The Employment Law Group, a law firm operating in D.C., that wrote about how it got two federal employees big bucks for blowing the whistle on some contractor games. Check out the short piece here.

Posted in A-76/Contracting, Contractor Fraud | Tagged | Leave a comment

NLRB STOMPS ON EMPLOYER’S CONFIDENTIALITY & NON-DISCLOSURE ENFORCEMENT

Lots of employer’s try to gag what employees or former employees can say about it, but it turns out that if that interferes with employees’ labor law rights, the NLRB is going to jump on that.  For example, in a case titled Harper Holdings, the Board convinced the employer to stop enforcing the following policies—formal or informal. Continue reading

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BIG VICTORY FOR RELIGIOUSLY OBSERVANT FEDS

Bret, a Jew, told his agency that his faith requires him to forgo work on the Sabbath, which runs from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. Despite that, management scheduled him to work some weekends and when he did not show up the agency fired him.  Here are the defenses the agency raised that were rejected. To begin, it claimed that the union contract prevented it from offering several accommodations, but … Continue reading

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REINSTATEMENT & FRONT PAY AFTER REMOVAL FOR 840 HOURS OF AWOL/LWOP 

Let’s count the mistakes the FBI made in terminating this employee (Emmitt) who had asked for a disability-related reasonable accommodation. First, the employee’s supervisor showed up at his house unannounced while the employee was on sick leave to do a “welfare check.” This somehow also involved also taking the employee’s service weapon and inspecting his bedroom.  She then told his mother management thought Emmitt was lying about being sick. To make the visit truly memorable, she mocked him to his face. Second, …  Continue reading

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WHAT SHOULD NOT HAPPEN WHEN YOU CALL IN SICK

I’ll bet that what happened in this recent case is very, very common. An employee, Jade, called in to say she needed to be hospitalized due to stomach pains and needed an appointment she had scheduled for that day reassigned.  A supervisor (OS) other than the employee’s own took the call and told the employee’s mentor (CTE) about the stomach pains.  And then she shared the information with another supervisor. The mentor told two other non-supervisory employees, who then called Jade.  Jade filed a discrimination complaint alleging that sharing her medical information violated the Rehabilitation Act and EEOC just ordered the agency to figure out how big of a check to send her for that violation. Here is why. Continue reading

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GREAT PODCAST ABOUT “ASSOCIATIONAL DISCRIMINATION”

Got 15 minutes?  If so, we suggest you checkout this podcast about a kind of discrimination that most of us never hear about. It will help you when union members suffer any of a very wide range of adverse management actions because they have a relationship with a disabled person. We have written about this before in posts such as the following:

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ARE YOU GETTING PREPARED?

Feds prosper or suffer depending on who is in the White House.  With at least the potential for a very anti-federal union and federal employee taking over a year from now, unions should be taking a number of steps now to protect themselves from its well-known tactics. One of those steps is to change the arbitration article in their agreements.  Continue reading

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MSPB CLARIFIES WHEN AN AGENCY CAN TERMINATE FOR LEAVE ABUSE

A GS-14 Supervisory Administrative Specialist at the SBA sustained a compensable injury requiring surgery and leave.  When she was cleared by her doctor to return to work, she requested a reasonable accommodation, including substantial approval of sick, annual, and LWOP to cover her future absences.  The agency denied most of her requested leave and by the time she returned to work she had accumulated 400 hours of AWOL. So, the agency removed her and the MSPB Administrative Judge (AJ) sustained the removal. But when the case went before the full Board, it reversed the judge and spelled out why as follows. This is a critically important case for any union rep defending an employee being disciplined for leave abuse.  Continue reading

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OUTSTANDING!!!  NFFE ACHIEVES 14% NET GROWTH IN 2023

 We at FEDSMILL have always believed that the most important measures of a union are its membership stats. If people are joining, then the union is obviously providing them the value they want.  If they are not, then in most cases it is because the union is not giving them what they want. That is more important than the percentage of arbitrations they win, the contract improvements they gain, or the legislative victories they rack up. If a union does great on each of those three measures, but people still do not join, then the union leadership is missing something.  That’s why NFFE members should celebrate Randy Erwin and his leadership team who have turned things around to achieve a growth rate every other federal employee envies. Check out the NFFE press release for more details.

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WHAT IS ADEQUATE NOTICE OF CRIMINAL IMMUNITY?

The U. S Constitution permits a federal employees not to answer official questions put to them in any investigation proceeding, civil or criminal, formal or informal, when the answers might incriminate them in future criminal proceedings. Generally, an agency accomplishes this by giving the employees adequate notice both that they are subject to discharge for not answering and that their replies (and their fruits) cannot be employed against them in a criminal case. That is commonly known as a Kalkines right. But that leaves the question of what constitutes “adequate” notice of immunity. Continue reading

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