Harassment Claims for Congressional Employees

By John V. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.com

We represent and advise congressional employees in the filing of Congressional Office of Compliance (OOC) complaints against congressional agencies / employers under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (CAA). Given the recent news accounts involving congressional employees and their sexual harassment claims, it is important for congressional employees who have been harassed to obtain legal counsel to advise and/or represent them given the complexity of the congressional process. There are specific guidelines for filing and adjudicating a complaint under the CAA. Our law firm has handled CAA cases since 1999.

Furthermore, in light of recent news it is highly likely that there will be many more claims involving sexual harassment and/or retaliation under the CAA from congressional staffers or other employees who have previously been discouraged from asserting their claims. The OOC has recently published a list of their settlements and awards. Our updated article on the Office of Compliance and process for dealing with sexual harassment (and discrimination) claims follows:

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Defending Federal Supervisors and Co-Workers From EEO Complaints

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By John V. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.com 

We often represent and defend federal employees and supervisors involved as respondents in Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints. While many attorneys represent only complainants in EEO complaints, we also represent those co-workers and supervisors accused of EEO misconduct in their defense. In cases where a federal employee or supervisor has been named a respondent in an EEO case by another federal employee, it is very important for them to obtain legal advice and counsel throughout the EEO investigation in order to avoid disciplinary action later.  An EEO respondent simply means that the individual has been named as part of the EEO violations or misconduct at issue.

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Federal Employee Rights in OIG Investigations

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By John V. Berry, www.berrylegal.com

We often represent federal employees in investigations before the Officeof Inspector General (OIG) of their federal agency. When a federal employee is under investigation (or going to be interviewed) by their respective OIG it is important for them to be aware of their legal rights, options and best plan of action for any potential legal defense. This article covers many of the issues that arise when a federal employee is contacted by their federal agency’s OIG.

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How to File an EEO Complaint for Federal Employees

By John V. Berry, www.berrylegal.com

We are often asked about the proper way in which to initiate an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint by federal employees against their federal agencies. A current or former federal employee or applicant for federal employment who believes he or she has been discriminated against because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or physical or mental disability, genetic information, sexual orientation or in retaliation for past EEO activity or for opposition to discrimination may file an EEO complaint against the federal agency involved.

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Retaining a Federal Sector Clearance Lawyer

By John V. Berry, Esq.,www.berrylegal.com

Our law firm consults with federal employees who have questions about potential issues with their security clearance, either in obtaining one or in keeping it. We advise and represent federal employees at all stages of the clearance process. A prospective client often has many questions about the timing of hiring a security clearance lawyer in the federal sector process.  In sum, we usually advise federal employees that the earlier an attorney experienced in the federal employee security clearance process is consulted, the better. Typically, when an issue is evaluated and addressed, head on by a federal employee, it can help to provide a better potential outcome. Continue reading

Constructive Discharge for Federal Employees

By John V. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.com

In the course of discrimination and termination cases involving federal employees, we are often asked about the concept of constructive discharge, also known as constructive termination or removal. Many federal employees ask what a constructive discharge or constructive removal is and whether it may apply to their case. The best way to describe a constructive discharge claim is as follows: a constructive discharge is a forced resignation or retirement by involuntary means.Constructive Discharge

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The Basics of the Federal Employee EEO Complaint Process

By John V. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.com

We are often asked by federal employees and applicants about how to file an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint for discrimination, sexual harassment or retaliation. A federal employee has different options for filing an EEO complaint than a private sector employee (and shorter deadlines) so it is important to understand the basics in moving forward.   Continue reading

Privacy Act Requests for Federal Employees

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By John V. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.com

It is often the case that we have clients that are seeking information about their own personal records maintained by a federal agency. These requests can relate to a former employee’s Official Personnel Folder, an administrative investigation, security clearance records, and all sorts of other types of information that involve them. We are often
retained to assist client in making such requests.  privacy-actThis article is general in nature and an individual should consult an attorney familiar with the Privacy Act prior to making a request.

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OPM Disability Retirement

By Kimberly H. Berry, www.retirementlaw.com

We represent federal employees in OPM disability retirement filings and appeals.  Federal approval-opmemployees, in both the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are eligible for disability retirement should the need arise. In order to be eligible for this type of retirement, CSRS employees generally must have completed five (5) years of federal service and FERS employees must have completed 18 months of creditable service.

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