Protecting Workers’ Rights

Focusing on the Rights of Federal Employees

Washington DC Employment Law Blog

News from Passman & Kaplan: Personnel News

News from Passman & Kaplan: Passman & Kaplan, P.C. is pleased to announce that P&K Senior Associates Andrew J. Perlmutter and Johnathan P. Lloyd have now become Principals of the firm, and that P&K associate Erik D. Snyder has become a Senior Associate of the firm.

News from the Federal Circuit: Delay Not Due Process Denial

News from the Federal Circuit: On August 24, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in Villareal v. Bureau of Prisons, No. 2017-2275.  The Court upheld Mr. Villareal's removal, finding no per se due process violation in the long delay in deciding to impose discipline.

Does security clearance expire?

Once you are cleared to work for the federal government, the clock starts ticking on your security clearance.

If you stay in your job, you will have to be “reinvestigated” periodically. If you leave your federal agency or contractor job, your clearance can lapse in two years. As you move up the ladder, you may need to obtain a higher level of clearance.

News from Passman & Kaplan: Webinar on Disability Rights

News from Passman & Kaplan:  Passman & Kaplan Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan will present a webinar on disability issues in the federal workplace on September 13, 2018, at 12:00pm Eastern. The webinar, entitled "Accommodating and Managing Federal Employees with Mental and Intellectual Disabilities" is presented by LRP Publications.  For further information, see LRP Publications' website: http://www.lrpfederalwebinars.com/register.html

News from the Courts: Executive Orders Partially Struck Down

News from the Courts:  On August 25, 2018, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a 122-page memorandum opinion in American Federation of Government Employees et al. v. Trump, No. 1:18-cv-1261. The Court struck down significant portions of the three May 25, 2018 executive orders concerning federal employees.

Employee success stories from the OSC

The Office of Special Counsel keeps federal agencies in check by holding them accountable for practices that violate the employment rights and civil rights of federal employees.

In its recap of Fiscal Year 2017, the OSC highlighted successful resolution of complaints about whistleblower retaliation, prohibited selection practices and other abuses.

What activities are protected from whistleblower retaliation?

Federal employees have strong -- but not unlimited -- whistleblower protections. There is too much at stake if you have built a career working for the U.S. government. Before you report wrongdoing or exercise employment rights, you of course want to be sure you won’t jeopardize your job, your benefits and your career.

Namely, it is important to know which activities are specifically protected from retaliation. Some protections are universal for all federal employees, and other whistleblower rules are agency-specific.

SEC Whistleblower Changes Are A Mixed Bag

The SEC Whistleblower Program has been a smashing success. Whistleblower tips have led to the recovery of more than $1.4 billion in fraud recoveries, much of which goes back to the victims of securities fraud.

The program succeeded by offering a generous monetary award to whistleblowers for their sacrifices. Recently proposed amendments to the program would incentivize even more people to come forward – but could deter whistleblowers in the most egregious cases.

Woman Who ‘Flipped Off’ President Loses Termination Lawsuit

The woman who was infamously fired after giving the middle finger to President Trump has lost her wrongful termination case. A Virginia judge tossed Juli Briskman’s lawsuit, finding no First Amendment protection for private sector employees.

The ruling was not unexpected. In general, private employees are not shielded from repercussions for their words or actions, even if the conduct occurs off-duty and away from the workplace. First Amendment advocates worry about reprisal against employees who do not share their employers’ political beliefs or who openly oppose the administration in power.

Developments at the OSC: FY2017 Annual Report Analyzed

Developments at the OSC: The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) recently issued its annual report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2017.

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