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Washington DC Employment Law Blog

Developments at OPM: Proposed Rule on Administrative Leave

Developments at OPM:  On July 13, 2017, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) published a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register (82 Fed.Reg. 32,263-32,281).  The Proposed Rule implements recent legislation modifying the legal structure for administrative leave for federal employees. 

News from the Courts: DC Employee Fired Discriminatorily Reinstated

News from the Courts: On July 10, 2017, the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) issued its Final Order in Massengale v. D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, OHR Docket No: 14-360-DC(CN). OHR reversed Ms. Massengale's 2014 termination and ordered her reinstated with back pay.

News from Congress: VA Employees' Civil Service Protections Slashed

News from Congress:  On June 23, 2017, the President signed into law Pub.L. 115-41.  The new statute reduces civil service protections for employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).

News from the Supreme Court: "Mixed Case" Appeals Re-Clarified

News from the Supreme Court:  On June 23, 2017, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board, 582 U.S. ____.  The Court clarified the appeals process for "mixed case" appeals before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) that involve claims of discrimination.

News from the Courts: False Statement Remedies Clarified

News from the Courts: On June 16, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a precedential decision in Lee v. U.S. Agency for International Development et al., No. 16-5276. The D.C. Circuit addressed the issue of whether a federal employee has a civil remedy for alleged false statements by managers under 18 U.S.C. § 1001.

News from Congress: Congress Reverses Federal Circuit in "Follow the Rules" Act

News from Congress:  On June 14, 2017, the President signed into law H.R. 657 as new Pub.L. 115-40. the so-called "Follow the Rules Act." The statute was designed to legislatively overrule the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Rainey.

Developments at the EEOC: Damages Awards Adjusted for Inflation

Developments at the EEOC:  On June 9, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a groundbreaking precedential decision in Lara G. v. U.S. Postal Service, EEOC Request No. 0520130618. On its own initiative, the EEOC reopened the case to reverse prior precedent on compensatory damages awards.

Congress Wants To Close Loopholes In Whistleblower Law

Welcome news. But always get legal advice before going to investigators.

Federal employees have strong protections and even monetary incentives for alerting government authorities to illegal behavior. But retaliation can be subtle and sneaky, and whistleblower laws may not apply to all disclosures or to employees who participated in breaking the law before blowing the whistle.

Speaking your mind is not cause for termination

First Amendment rights of employees upheld in recent verdicts 

Despite very different circumstances, there was an important common thread in two recent lawsuits for wrongful termination. In both cases juries took government agencies to task for firing public employees (at least in part) for speaking their mind.

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