News from Passman & Kaplan: On April 1, 2019, Passman & Kaplan, P.C. Founding Principal Edward H. Passman and his client, Tricia Newbold, were both interviewed in the press. Ms. Newbold was interviewed by NBC News. Mr. Passman was interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR), on NPR's All Things Considered program. Both interviews concerned Ms. Newbold's claims against the Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, which were recently discussed in greater detail in this blog.
News from Congress: Tricia Newbold, an employee at the Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, recently testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. As the Committee's chair, Rep. Elijah Cummings, stated in an April 1, 2019 letter to the White House, Ms. Newbold "has informed the Committee that during the Trump Administration, she and other career officials adjudicated denials of dozens of applications for security clearances that were later overturned. As a result, she warned that security clearance applications for White House officials 'were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security.' She also reported to the Committee that she has been targeted for retaliation after declining to grant security clearances based on longstanding national security protocols. She stated: 'I'm terrified of going back. I know that this will not be perceived in favor of my intentions, which is to bring back the integrity of the office.'"
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: 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.
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.
Developments at the EEOC: On September 26, 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Office of Federal Operations issued its decision in Cleveland C. et al. v. Dept. of Defense, EEOC Appeal Nos. 0120170405-0120170414. Shifting from prior precedent, the EEOC recognized reasonable accommodation protections for persons suffering from pseudofolliculitis barbae (PB).
Developments at OPM: On October 10, 2018, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued Interpretive Guidance on implementation of Section 5 of Executive Order 13,839. OPM's Interpretive Guidance clarifies some aspects of how Section 5--the provision limiting modification of federal personnel records in settlement--should be applied.
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: 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.
News from Passman & Kaplan: As a public service, Passman & Kaplan wished to generally warn federal employees about the often-short response deadlines that apply when federal employees are faced with a proposed adverse action, in light of recent changes in the law.