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