2015  Ask The Lawyer Articles By Cheri L. Cannon, Esq.

1. At what point in an employee’s career will the length of his federal civil service tenure count as a mitigating factor should he face disciplinary action?

 I was recently promoted to a supervisory position, but now my agency is trying to return me to my old, non-managerial position. Can I file an appeal with the MSPB?

3. Ever since my closest friend in the office blew the whistle, my supervisor has been coming down hard on me. Am I protected against retaliation for someone else’s whistleblowing activity?

4.  How many times must a federal employee be absent for an agency to charge him with failure to be regular in attendance?

5. Can my agency discipline me twice for the same misconduct?

 At what point can a supervisor be disciplined for the misconduct of subordinates, even if she was never made aware of what they were up to?

7Are agencies allowed to lump several types of misconduct into a single charge?

8. I was not selected for promotion, and I think my age (I’m 59) had something to do with it. The deciding official denies even knowing how old I was. Is that a valid excuse?

9. I think management just made a very bad decision. If I blow the whistle will I be protected against retaliation?

10.  How do I know if my agency has denied me a meaningful opportunity to respond to its proposal to suspend me?

When can a federal employee be awarded front pay?

12. My supervisor appears to be attracted to me and has a habit of physically standing very close to me. It makes me uncomfortable. Does that count as sexual harassment? 

13.  I was transferred in retaliation for blowing the whistle, and the agency has already filled my position in my old office. Does that mean I cannot go back there even if I prove the agency broke the law?

14. I’ve been placed on a performance improvement plan and told I will not be removed so long as I do not do certain things. Should I be concerned about this plan? 

15. I did not get selected for a promotion. Even applying for the position was a waste of time because the agency had in mind who it wanted to hire from the very beginning. What can I do? 

16.  My agency has given me written notice that it wants to remove me. If I resign immediately, can I avoid having this adverse action mar my record? 

I was arrested while off-duty a week ago. Do I have to report the arrest to my agency even though it was for a minor offense and nothing will come of it? 

18. How do agencies determine an employee’s removal is for the efficiency of the service?

19. How do I know if questions about my disability during a job interview crossed the line?

20.  I’m black, and my supervisor gives me a hard time because my wife is white. Should I file an EEO complaint?

Over the years, I’ve filed two race discrimination complaints and one retaliation complaint. At what point would my EEO activity count as an abuse of the system?

22. My agency has just proposed to remove me, and one of the charges is based on misconduct that happened years ago. The agency knew about that misconduct all along and never did anything about it. Shouldn’t there be a statute of limitations for this charge?

Not long after I blew the whistle, my agency launched an investigation that found I had stolen some office equipment. Now the agency is removing me. What should I do?

24. I told my supervisor I’ll be filing a discrimination complaint against him, and he responded saying I’ll regret it. Can he threaten me like that?

25. Will I be protected against retaliation if I blow the whistle on the wrongdoing of someone who does not work for the federal government?