Protecting Workers’ Rights

Focusing on the Rights of Federal Employees

June 2014 Archives

Developments at OPM: Proposed Rule on Same-Sex Marriage and FMLA

Developments at OPM:  On June 23, 2014, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register (79 Fed. Reg. 35,497-35,498).  OPM is proposing to revise the regulations governing federal-sector Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to extend coverage to same-sex spouses of federal employees.  Comments on the Proposed Rule are due August 22, 2014.

Developments at the MSPB: Mitigation Analysis Clarified

Developments at the MSPB: On June 13, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued a precedential decision in Chavez v. Small Business Administration, 2014 MSPB 37.  The MSPB upheld the administrative judge's mitigation of Mr. Chavez' removal to a 60 day suspension, and in doing so clarified the proper application of Douglas factor analysis to the reasonableness of penalties.

Passman & Kaplan Wins Employee Reinstatement; Removal Reversed for Due Process Violation

On June 13, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued a nonprecedential decision in Halfacre v. Dept. of Homeland Security, MSPB Docket No. DC-0752-12-0626-I-1. Reversing the administrative judge's decision below, the MSPB found that Ms. Halfacre was denied Constitutional due process in her removal, rendering the removal fatally legally defective. On appeal, the MSPB unanimously reversed the removal decision. Under clear precedent from the MSPB and its chief reviewing court, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, federal employees are entitled to notice of the charges against them (including all aggravating factors) and a chance to respond before any adverse action is implemented--a right which rises to the level of 5th Amendment Constitutional due process. The MSPB found that the agency's failure to notify Ms. Halfacre of an undisclosed aggravating factor and failure to give her the chance to respond to the issue rendered her removal legally flawed, and thus ordered the removal reversed with full back pay. Ms. Halfacre was represented by Passman & Kaplan Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan and Passman & Kaplan Senior Associate Adria S. Zeldin.

Developments at the MSPB: Due Process Denial Leads to Reinstatement

Developments at the MSPB: On June 13, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued a nonprecedential decision in Halfacre v. Dept. of Homeland Security, MSPB Docket No. DC-0752-12-0626-I-1. Reversing the administrative judge's decision below, the MSPB found that Ms. Halfacre was denied Constitutional due process in her removal, rendering the removal fatally legally defective. Accordingly, the MSPB reversed the removal of Ms. Halfacre and reinstated her to duty with back pay.

Passman & Kaplan Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan To Be A Presenter at the Federal Dispute Resolution Training Seminar, July 17, 2014

Passman & Kaplan Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan will be a presenter at the Federal Dispute Resolution (FDR) Training seminar, which is being held at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, CA, on July 14-17, 2014. Mr. Kaplan will be presenting a lecture entitled " Proving and Defending Claims of Compensatory Damages." 

Passman & Kaplan Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan Plenary Speaker at SFLERP Spring Conference

Passman & Kaplan Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan was the plenary speaker at Spring Conference of the Society for Federal Labor & Employee Relations Professionals (SFLERP) New York/New Jersey Chapter, which was held in New York City, NY on June 4, 2014. Mr. Kaplan's lecture was entitled "Civility and Fairness in the Workplace: A Time to Act." In addition to being the plenary speaker, Mr. Kaplan was also a workshop leader at the conference.

Developments at the MSPB: MSPB Releases FY 2013 Annual Report

Developments at the MSPB: On May 30, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued its annual report for FY 2013. The report discussed the current status of the MSPB's caseload of furlough appeals, as well as its overall case processing in FY2013.

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