Developments at OGE: On August 19, 2013, the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) issued a new legal advisory discussing the effects of the Supreme Court's recent decision in United States v. Windsor on federal ethics rules. In Windsor, which was previously analyzed in this blog, the Court struck down the provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act which had set the default definition of "marriage" as excluding same-sex marriages.
News from the Federal Circuit: On August 5, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its decision in Gallo v. Department of Transportation, Case No. 2011-3094. The Court created a major new hurdle to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees seeking the award of back pay, specifically holding that the Federal Circuit lacks the authority to award attorneys' fees and costs in FAA back pay cases.
Developments at the MSPB: On August 14, 2013, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued its decision in King v. Dept. of the Air Force, 2013 MSPB 62. At issue was whether or not the compensatory damages provision of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 (WPEA) applies retroactively, a topic previously discussed in this blog and in Passman & Kaplan's Federal Legal Corner.
Developments at the EEOC: On August 13, 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Office of Federal Operations (OFO) issued an important decision in Couch v. Department of Energy, EEOC Appeal No. 0120131136. This decision extends a major push by the EEOC to expand the coverage of federal discrimination statutes into the area of discrimination based on employees' sexual orientation.