Judicial

Decision blocks appeal rights for feds in 'sensitive' jobs

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last month issued a ruling which, if it stands, will result in hundreds of thousands of federal employees effectively being stripped of their appeal rights under civil service law when jobs are labeled "sensitive."

Court ruling eliminates review rights for 'sensitive' positions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit this week issued a ruling that critics say will result in hundreds of thousands of federal employees being stripped of their rights under civil service law when jobs are labeled "sensitive."

Judges paint dire picture if funding cuts continue

Top federal judges this month told congressional leaders that further funding cuts for the federal judiciary will endanger the U.S. justice system.

Court declares Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional

The Supreme Court on June 26 struck down a key part of Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denies benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in states where they live.

Former CBP officer pleads guilty in alien smuggling conspiracy

A former Customs and Border Protection officer last week pleaded guilty in federal court to participating in bribery and alien smuggling activities for several years at ports of entry on the U.S./Mexico border.

Supreme Court clarifies appeals process for 'mixed' cases

The Supreme Court this month ruled that federal employees with “mixed case” discrimination claims should seek review in federal district court rather than the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Legal Matters: Feds left hanging by Federal Circuit decision do have options

Months after a federal appellate court stripped federal employees in "noncritical-sensitive" positions of their right to challenge certain removal actions, many are still asking: “Now what?”

Unions may negotiate in RIFs

A federal appeals court has affirmed the right of federal unions to negotiate certain issues pertaining to how competitive service employees are affected by reductions in force.

High court rules on appeals path for firings

The Supreme Court has ruled that federal employees appealing lengthy suspensions or permanent dismissals must pursue their appeals through the Merit Systems Protection Board only—they cannot go to federal district courts to seek relief.

Federal Benefits Q&A

Question: “I am a GS-13, step 9 employee (executive branch) and have applied for a job with a federal public defender (judicial branch). No salary was specified for the judicial job — salary will be “based on experience.” If offered the job, will this be considered as a merit or lateral promotion, meaning I would receive at least my current salary? Do I stay in the Federal Employees Retirement System and keep my same leave accrual?”

House committee passes whistleblower protections bill

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this week unanimously passed a bill that would bolster the Whistleblower Protection Act to offer additional protections to federal whistleblowers.

You Be the Judge: Did Navy Breach Terms Of Settlement Agreement?

A Navy civilian employee lodges an appeal claiming she was improperly removed from service because the Navy breached a previously concluded settlement agreement.

Court tells government to stop enforcing 'Don't Ask'

A federal appeals court has ordered the government to stop enforcing the policy that prevents openly gay service members from serving in the military.

You Be the Judge: Was agriculture scientist’s alleged poor performance removal fair?

In this “You Be The Judge,” a Department of Agriculture employee appeals his removal for allegedly unacceptable performance—insisting his performance was incorrectly evaluated and that the parts of the performance appraisal system used to eject him were never vetted and approved by the Office of Personnel Management, as required by law.

Group says MSPB plan tilts against workers

A proposed four-year Merit Systems Protection Board strategic plan does not adequately deal with existing problems—and may make it more difficult for employees to present their complaints to MSPB administrative judges, an employee advocacy group said.

You Be The Judge: Was VA employee unfairly removed and denied disability?

In this “You Be the Judge,” a probationary employee with the Department of Veterans Affairs contests his removal on charges that he took unexcused absences and allegedly demonstrated an “inability to master his position.”

Senator reintroduces whistleblower bill

Sen. Daniel Akaka on April 6 reintroduced the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act after a similar bill died last year in the waning days of the last session of Congress.