Avoid Politics in the Federal Workplace

By John V. Berry, www.berrylegal.com

The 2019 primaries and 2020 national elections are approaching soon. Our law firm often represents and defends federal employees in Hatch Act violation cases. The Hatch Act was meant to curtail partisan political involvement for federal employees. There are certain restrictions that prohibit certain political conduct, both on-duty and off-duty. As these elections approach, this article is meant to help federal employees avoid the problems of committing potential Hatch Act violations.   Continue reading

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Federal Employee Probationary Employee Rights

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

This article discusses federal employee probationary rights. Probationary employee rights can be a confusing subject for most federal employees. The rights that these types of employees have can also be unclear or not fully explained by federal agencies to employees.  This article hope to clear this area of law up for federal employees that may be in their probationary status.Probationary Period

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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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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

Performance Improvement Plans (PIPS) for Federal Employees

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

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.

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Preparing a Federal Employee Administrative Grievance

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

Our law firm represents federal employees in federal employee grievance procedures. Most, if not all federal agencies have their own federal employee grievance procedures. Most of these procedures are similar but each agency may have their own twists that an employee should be aware of. Continue reading

Federal Employees and the Hatch Act

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

Our law firm represents and defends federal employees who have been alleged to have committed Hatch Act violations, require Hatch Act guidance or legal defense or have been subjected to illegal political discrimination in the federal workplace. Continue reading

Filing an OSC Complaint

OSC Form 11Filing an Office of Special Counsel Complaint

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

We represent and advise federal employees in the filing of Office of Special Counsel (OSC) complaints against their federal agencies and federal supervisors involved in such complaints. A number of issues can arise when an OSC complaint is contemplated that should be considered by a federal employee before proceeding. This article is a short summary of the OSC complaint process. Continue reading