Protecting Workers’ Rights

Focusing on the Rights of Federal Employees

Washington DC Employment Law Blog

News from Congress: Furlough Back Pay Pre-Approved

News from Congress:  On January 16, 2019, the President signed S.24, the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 into law.  S.24 contains important provisions for federal employees subject to the present partial government shutdown, as well as for employees affected by future appropriations lapse furloughs.

News from the Federal Circuit: New Adverse Action Decisions

News from the Federal Circuit: Although the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is currently shut down and without quorum, its chief reviewing court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, has continued deciding federal sector adverse action cases.  Federal Circuit decisions of interest issued since the shutdown began include the following:

Developments at OPM: Guidance on Furlough and Use-or-Lose Leave

Developments at OPM:  On January 10, 2019, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued new guidance to clarify the effects of the ongoing furlough on federal employees' use-or-lose annual leave. 

“So bad I had to quit”: Understanding constructive discharge

When is a resignation not considered a voluntary act?  When it is unlawfully coerced or the only escape from an intolerably hostile work environment.

A finding of “constructive discharge” is essentially the same as wrongful termination. The person technically quit but for all practical purposes they were pushed out. Federal employees alleging constructive discharge have a very short window to bring such a complaint.

Whistleblowers were key in $2.8 billion False Claim Act recoveries

The Department of Justice reports that it recovered $2.8 billion in fraud prosecutions in 2018 under the False Claims Act. The majority of those cases came to the DOJ's attention through the courage of whistleblowers.

Passman & Kaplan, P.C., represents government whistleblowers who have suffered retaliation and also shepherds whistleblowers (civilians and federal employees) in bringing lawsuits under the False Claims Act to claim a reward. Read more about federal fraud recoveries and how our law firm supports individuals who expose government corruption.

Developments at the EEOC: Probationary Termination Reversed

Developments at the EEOC:  On October 15, 2018, Chief Administrative Judge Patrick Kokenge of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Miami District Office issued a Consent Order awarding the Complainant remedies in EEOC No. 570-2014-001194X. 

SCOTUS rules that ADEA applies to all public employers

By unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has clarified that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies to all public sector employers.

The case centered on two Arizona firefighters who believe they were terminated because of their age. Their fire district claimed that the wording of the ADEA excluded smaller public agencies with less than 20 personnel. SCOTUS firmly rejected that interpretation.

The sexual harassment complaint process for federal employees

Employees of federal agencies who experience sexual harassment have many legal protections. But the path to justice can be long and complex.

The complainant must adhere to specific steps and strict deadlines. It is a good idea to consult a lawyer at the beginning of the process, starting with documenting and reporting the harassing behavior.

News from Passman & Kaplan: Washingtonian Magazine Again Names P&K Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan One of Washington, DC'S Best Lawyers

News from Passman & Kaplan:  Washingtonian Magazine has named Passman & Kaplan Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan one of Washington DC's "Best Lawyers" for 2018. The magazine's December 2018 edition identifies top lawyers by areas of practice. Mr. Kaplan is listed in the "Employment Plaintiffs" category. This is not the first time that Washingtonian has recognized Mr. Kaplan as one of Washington DC's Best Lawyers. Mr. Kaplan was named as a top DC lawyer by Washingtonian Magazine in 2017, 2015, 2013 and 2011. Prior to this year, Washingtonian Magazine ran its Top Lawyers feature every two years.

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