Protecting Workers’ Rights

Focusing on the Rights of Federal Employees

Washington DC Employment Law Blog

News from the Federal Circuit: Two Federal Circuit Decisions

News from the Federal Circuit: Although the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) continues without quorum, its chief reviewing court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, has continued deciding federal sector adverse action cases. Recently, the Federal Circuit issued two new decisions of interest:

News from Passman & Kaplan: P&K Client Tricia Newbold in the News

News from Passman & Kaplan: The discrimination complaint of Tricia Newbold, an employee at the Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, was recently featured in the press. Ms. Newbold has alleged that she suffered ongoing disability discrimination based on her dwarfism at the hands of her supervisor, among other claims. Ms. Newbold's supervisor allegedly discriminated against her by repeatedly impairing Ms. Newbold's office access and by allowing office equipment and files to be placed out of her reach on several separate occasions. For example, Ms. Newbold alleges that her supervisor moved work-related security files that Ms. Newbold needed to a high location and then told her, "You have people, have them get you the files you need; or you can ask me." Based on these allegations, Ms. Newbold has filed a discrimination complaint, which is currently pending at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Ms. Newbold's story was first publicly reported in a January 24, 2019 by NBC News. Ms. Newbold is represented by Passman & Kaplan, P.C. Founding Principal Edward H. Passman.

News from Congress: Congressional Accountability Act Amendments

News from Congress: On December 21, 2018, the President signed Pub.L. 115-397. Pub.L. 115-397 made major revisions to the Congressional Accountability Act (CAA), which governs discrimination claims for most legislative branch employees.

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.

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