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.
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 →
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. This article is general in nature and an individual should consult an attorney familiar with the Privacy Act prior to making a request.
We represent federal employees in Office of Personnel Management (OPM) disability retirement filings and appeals. Federal employees, 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.
We often represent federal employees in federal agency initiated administrative investigations. When a federal employee is under investigation or suspects that they may be investigated in regards to misconduct, on or off duty, it is important to have a federal employment attorney represent and/or advise them through the process. Continue reading →
Our law firm represents federal employees who have been placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) relating to alleged poor performance. Federal employees should always be wary if they learn that a PIP is being recommended or considered as a means of correcting a federal employee’s work performance. In our experience, the issuance of a PIP almost always indicates the beginning of the removal or reassignment process for a federal employee. Federal employees, however, are usually told that a PIP is only designed to benefit them and make them better performers. This, unfortunately, is not the usual case.
We often represent federal employees and applicants in suitability responses and appeals. Suitability involves an investigation and review into an federal employee’s background or fitness for employment. Suitability basically concerns a federal agency’s review of an individual’s “character or conduct that may have an impact on the integrity or efficiency of the service.” I have attached a Sample Suitability Letterfor reference.
We represent and advise federal employees when they request desk audits regarding their current positions. As one might imagine, a number of issues can arise when a desk audit is contemplated. A desk audit is simply a procedure where the duties and position of a federal employee are evaluated to determine whether or not the employee’s position should be upgraded in terms of grade, pay level, title or classification series. A desk audit is also referred to as a classification appeal. Continue reading →
Berry & Berry, PLLC, attorneys specializing in federal employment law matters before the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals, the Office of Special Counsel, and many other federal administrative agencies are proud to announce their new blog, which provides information on various areas of interest to federal employees.