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☀       March 19, 2018  ...   SCREWED!!!   HE'S SO PROUD THAT THEY FIRED THE GUY 2 DAYS BEFORE HIS LONG ANNOUNCED RETIREMENT DATE.  ...   After reading numerous comments on social media this weekend, many Feds are learning what others have known for a long time; the general public is extremely resentful of Federal employee's pay, health insurance and retirement benefits.    Tread carefully.

☀       March 19, 2018  ...  11th Cir.:  EEOC v. Exel  ...   A jury awarded the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) and Contrice Travis back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages after finding that Travis’s employer, Exel, Inc., discriminated against her because of her sex.         The discrimination occurred when Dave Harris, Travis’s supervisor, denied her a promotion in favor of Michael Pooler, a male employee. After the verdict, Exel filed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law.         The district court denied Exel’s motion as to liability, but granted it as to the jury’s punitive damages award.         Travis and the EEOC now appeal the vacatur of the jury’s punitive damages award, and Exel cross-appeals the denial of its motion as to liability.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       March 16, 2018  ...  DcDc:  Lopez v. CIA  ...   DON'T FUNK WITH THE CIA !  ...   Rodlqwlii ilohg klv ruljlqdo frpsodlqw rq -dqxdu\ &rpso >'nw 'hihqgdqwv ilohg dq dqvzhu rq 0dufk iroorzhg e\ d prwlrq iru mxgjphqw rq wkh sohdglqjv 'hiv $qvzhu >'nw 'hiv 0rw. Iru - rq wkh 3ohdglqjv >'nw 3odlqwlii uhvsrqghg wr ghihqgdqwv prwlrq e\ furvv prylqj iru vxppdu\ mxgjphqw exw kh dovr ilohg d prwlrq iru. Ohdyh wr dphqg klv frpsodlqw 3o v 5hvs wr 'hiv 0rw iru - rq wkh 3ohdglqjv lq 6xss ri 3o v &urvv0rw iru 6xpp >'nw 3o v 0rw iru. Hdyh wr )loh dq $p &rpso iru ,qmxqfwlyh 5holhi >'nw 7kh &rxuw judqwhg sodlqwlii v prwlrq.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       March 15, 2018  ...  ScSc:  IN THE MATTER OF JOHN SWAN  ...   FOOLISH, DO-GOODER ATTORNEY GETS HIS PUNISHMENT. ... MAKES HIS DO-BAD PROFESSION LOOK BAD.  ...   MATTER A:    Respondent represented Client in a criminal matter. Concerned that Client was suffering from a medical emergency and that the medical treatment Client was receiving in jail was inadequate, respondent paid Client's bond. When Client ran out of money to pay for the motel room where she was living, and was at risk of having to live on the street, respondent, with his wife's permission, allowed Client to stay at respondent's house with respondent and his wife for two to three nights         MATTER B:    On several occasions, respondent made sexually inappropriate comments to Client on the telephone while she was in jail, and on one occasion did the same with another client who was in jail. There is no evidence, nor have the clients claimed, respondent had sexual relations or engaged in any other inappropriate or unwarranted touching with either client, including with Client while she was staying in his home. There is also no evidence respondent requested sexual services in exchange for anything.         MATTER C:    On one occasion, respondent delivered electronic cigarettes to two clients in jail.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       March 12, 2018  ...  Fed Cir.:  Holton v. Navy  ...   Scott Holton was formerly employed by the Department of the Navy as a rigger supervisor at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (“PNS”). Mr. Holton had been employed at the shipyard since January 8, 2007.         On March 11, 2015, Mr. Holton’s crew was using a portal crane to move submarine covers from the upper staging area to the landing area of Dry Dock 2. During the movement around this curve on March 11, the crane boom struck Building 343, causing roughly $30,000 in damage.         Navy Shipyard Portsmouth [...] allows post-accident drug testing of employees, after an accident causing damage in excess of $10,000 [...]         The members of the crane team were notified that they would drug tested due to the severity of the accident.         Mr. Holton’s sample was tested twice and found positive for marijuana both times. Mr. Holton’s test result was 150 times greater than the allowable marijuana testing cutoff.         On May 15, 2015, the Navy proposed his removal [...] the Executive Director removed him, effective July 8, 2015.         Mr. Holton appealed his dismissal to the Board.         Here, Scott Holton petitions for review of the decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”) affirming his removal.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       March 9, 2018  ...  FLRA:  AFGE v. Army  ...   On October 7, 2016, the Agency notified the Union that it was implementing a two-year probationary period for certain employees pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 1599e. The Union invoked bargaining but, after several attempts to schedule a time for impact and implementation bargaining, filed a ULP charge (first ULP charge) against the Agency. The Union withdrew the first ULP charge after the parties reached a settlement agreement. Under this agreement, the Agency agreed to bargain to the extent required by the Statute over the Union’s proposals.         After the parties entered into the settlement agreement, the Union resubmitted its proposals to the Agency. In response, the Agency informed the Union that the Agency was not required to negotiate over the Union’s proposals because they were either outside the scope of the proposed change or not related to conditions of employment.         In response, the Union filed another ULP charge (second ULP charge) on June 27, 2017, alleging that the Agency repudiated the settlement agreement pertaining to impact and implementation bargaining.   ...   FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       March 8, 2018  ...  VAOIG:  Critical Deficiencies at the Washington DC VAMC.       This report is meant to not only improve conditions at the DC VAMC, but also to serve as a roadmap for other VA medical facilities and to improve integrated reviews and oversight by Veterans Integrated Service Networks and VA central offices.         The OIG found that critical deficiencies at the DC VAMC were pervasive and persistent—often spanning many years—but were not successfully remediated by leaders at multiple levels within VA. These deficiencies impacted core medical center functions that healthcare providers need to effectively provide quality care. The report details the DC VAMC’s failures in ensuring supplies and equipment reached patient care areas when needed, processing and sterilizing instruments, managing and securing assets, maintaining cleanliness, providing timely prosthetic devices, properly reporting and analyzing patient safety events, and receiving the staffing and leadership needed for sustainable change. The OIG did not find evidence of adverse clinical outcomes, a condition that is largely attributable to front-line care providers who were committed to providing the best possible care by borrowing supplies, improvising, or personally ensuring patients received what they needed. The OIG made 40 recommendations and VA concurred with each one. VA also provided detailed action plans on how the recommendations are going to be implemented and identified the progress they have already made.      Summary   Report

☀       March 7, 2018  ...  FLRA:  Air Force v. AFGE  ...   Statement of the Case:     After the Agency filed exceptions to an arbitration award, the Authority’s Office of Case Intake and Publication (CIP) ordered the Agency to show cause, by a specific date, why the exceptions should not be dismissed as untimely (show-cause order). Although the Agency responded to the show-cause order, its response was untimely.         Accordingly, CIP dismissed the Agency’s exceptions (dismissal order).         Now, the Agency has filed a motion for reconsideration of the dismissal order. Because the Agency’s arguments are untimely, we do not consider them.   ...   FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       March 7, 2018  ...  6th Cir.:  Golden v. [Burger King’]  ...   AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE; BURGER KING MANAGER; MEMPHIS.  ...   Golden began working for MIC in September 2010 as a fast-track manager, and, in December of that year, was transferred to Burger King’s Summer Avenue location in Memphis, Tennessee as the general manager. Golden’s direct supervisor was district manager Kellie Barksdale, and it is disputed how Barksdale treated Golden throughout his employment.         Golden, who is an African-American male, contends that he was denied raises, evaluations, promotions, and vacation days while his white and female counterparts received those benefits.1 Golden contends that Barksdale made discriminatory comments towards him and his staff. For example, Golden stated in an affidavit that Barksdale would refer to President Barack Obama as “your President,” and that because he was her first black male general manager, she referred to him as her “lab rat.”         He also averred that Barksdale said that black managers always failed “because of drugs, some kind of sexual harassment charge, or money missing, or messing with a minor.”   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       March 7, 2018  ...  4th Cir.:  Cooper v. Smithfield  ...  INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS; DISPARATE TREATMENT; WRONGFUL TERMINATION; RETALIATION   ...   Plaintiff-Appellant Lisa Cooper is a former employee of Defendant-Appellee The Smithfield Packing Company (Smithfield). Between 1995 and 2011, Cooper was employed by Smithfield, save for a short period when she had been terminated and then reinstated for reasons unrelated to this case.         According to allegations in Cooper’s Fourth Amended Complaint, Lowery sexually harassed her on a regular basis between 2007 and 2011, repeatedly asking her to sleep with him, threatening her when she refused to sleep with him, physically brushing up against her, demeaning her relationship with her husband, and requiring her to work in close proximity with him for no apparent reason.         This pattern of abuse culminated in July 2011, when Cooper reported Lowery’s behavior to Smithfield’s human resources department (HR). After her initial verbal report, Cooper was asked by HR to provide a written statement, which she submitted the following day.         The next day, while Smithfield continued to investigate the claims, Cooper resigned.         Cooper timely filed a claim with the EEOC, alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation arising from Lowery’s alleged pattern of sexual abuse.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       March 5, 2018  ...  DcDc:  Brookens v. Labor  ...   Brookens is a former DOL economist with degrees in law and economics.         DOL fired him in 2008.         He then filed grievances for arbitration, claiming, among other things, that his firing was both the result of unlawful age and race discrimination and in retaliation for his participation in protected union activity (such as a grievance he had filed in 1999).         In 2012, an arbitrator disagreed and rejected the claims. Brookens appealed the arbitrator’s decision to the MSPB, which referred the case to an administrative law judge (“ALJ”).   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       March 2, 2018  ...  5th Cir.:  Mengistu v. MVSU  ...   Tadesse Mengistu is an Ethiopian-born U.S. citizen and an associate professor in the Department of Business Administration at Mississippi Valley State University. In 2013, his department hired a candidate from South Korea with substantial private sector experience as an assistant professor. Mengistu later discovered that the newly hired assistant professor made more than he did and sued. He alleged that the university and department chair Jongchai Kim (who happens to be Korean) discriminated against Mengistu by paying the newly hired professor a higher salary despite his lower rank and lesser qualifications.   ...   DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       March 2, 2018  ...  FLRA:  Prisons v. AFGE  ...   On November 7, 2016, Arbitrator Vern E. Hauck issued an award finding, in relevant part, that the Agency violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)[1] by failing to compensate two types of employees (officers) – relief officers and non-relief officers – for activities that they performed before and after their assigned shifts. As a remedy, the Arbitrator directed the Agency to compensate the officers with overtime pay.         There are two main questions before us.         The first question is whether the award is contrary to the FLSA and the Portal-to-Portal Act (the Act)[2] because it directs the Agency to compensate relief and non-relief officers, respectively, for the time that they spent traveling to and from their duty posts.         The second question is whether the awarded remedy is deficient.   ...   FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       March 1, 2018  ...  10th Cir.:  Winston v. Ross  ...   THE VICTIM AND THE COURT.  ...   THE VICTIM :   Deborah L. Winston sued her former employer, the National Weather Service (NWS), an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act for discrimination on the basis of disability and for unlawful retaliation.         Ms. Winston’s lawsuit asserted that (1) NWS discriminated against her by failing to provide reasonable accommodations for her disability, and (2) it retaliated against her on several occasions for requesting reasonable accommodations.         She appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the National Weather Service.    THE COURT :   The record shows that Ms. Winston’s performance evaluation was generally positive, she ultimately received time off to vote, and the letter of caution was premised on mistakes she admitted to having made.         Ms. Winston has not shown that NWS’s requiring a doctor’s note for sick leave or that exercising additional scrutiny of her performance amounted to materially adverse action.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       March 1, 2018  ...  DcDc:  Pars v. CIA  ...   DON'T FUNK WITH THE CIA!.  ...   Mr. Pars is a veteran employee of the ClA.         In December 2014, he began an one-year assignment as the Deputy Chief of Base, a management position, at a base located in a conflict Zone.         In this position, he allegedly observed certain “unusual and inappropriate” behaviors of the Chief of Base (“COB”) which he feared “negatively impacted the Base’s ability to meet its mission of assisting Intelligence Community (lC) and US military partners, and endangered the lives of personnel.”         For example, the COB allegedly often spent time cooking, baking, socializing, entertaining, exercising, and shopping, and insisted on traveling in areas of indirect fire attack to perform certain of these activities, putting herself and other military personnel in danger.         In one instance, the COB and her personnel allegedly traveled through an area that was hit by a rocket ten minutes later. In another instance, the COB allegedly missed a meeting With a senior U.S. military official in order to cook.         The COB also allegedly told Mr. Pars that she was “horribly depressed” ` and missed her family. According to Mr. Pars, she selected certain individuals to become her “adopted sons,” and gave preferential treatment to those individuals, entertaining them and permitting them to shirk their work responsibilities.         In or around January 2015, upon advice from the base’s Psychological Officer, Mr. Pars disclosed his concerns to the “Chief,” the next person in the chain of command. [After] the Chief allegedly relayed Mr. Pars’ disclosure to the COB, they allegedly retaliated against Mr. Pars by excluding him from key 'meetings, micromanaging his work, and exhibiting “belligerent and threatening behavior” towards him.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 28, 2018  ...  9th Cir.:  Duggan v. Defense  ...   Petitioner George Duggan brought this action under the Whistleblower Protection Act against the Department of Defense, alleging that the Department took several adverse personnel actions against him in retaliation for his protected disclosures about misconduct at the Defense Contract Audit Agency (“DCAA”). Following an unsuccessful appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”), Petitioner timely seeks review.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 28, 2018  ...  9th Cir.:  Johnen v. MSPB  ...   Petitioner Michael Johnen alleges that the United States Department of the Army terminated him and excluded him from his work site because he had made complaints that are protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 27, 2018  ...  2d Cir.:  Zarda v. Altitude  ...   SECOND CIRCUIT PANEL SAYS GAYS ARE "ME TOO" FOR SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS.  ...   Donald Zarda brought this suit against his former employer alleging, inter alia, sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”)[...]. In particular, Zarda claimed that he was fired after revealing his sexual orientation to a client.         The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Bianco, J.) granted summary judgment to the defendants on the ground that Zarda had failed to show that he had been discriminated against on the basis of his sex.         We convened this rehearing en banc to consider whether Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation such that our precedents to the contrary should be overruled.         We now hold that sexual orientation discrimination constitutes a form of discrimination “because of . . . sex,” in violation of Title VII, and overturn Simonton and Dawson v. Bumble & Bumble,   ...   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 26, 2018  ...  FLRA:  Prisons v. AFGE  ...   On October 3, 2016, Arbitrator Kathleen Miller issued an award finding that the Agency violated the parties’ agreement and the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute)[1] when it reserved certain assignments, days off, and shifts for non-bargaining-unit employees before giving bargaining-unit employees the opportunity to bid on assignments, days off, and shifts as well as when it allowed non-bargaining-unit employees to participate in the bidding process under the parties’ agreement.         On November 2, 2016, the Agency filed five substantive exceptions.         This case primarily turns on one question—whether, as the Agency argues, the award is contrary to law because it is contrary to its management rights under § 7106 of the Statute. In order to answer this question, we take this opportunity to reevaluate how we analyze exceptions alleging that an award is contrary to a management right under § 7106 of the Statute.         Under our new standard, we find that the award excessively interferes with the Agency’s management rights to assign employees and to assign work. [...]   ...   FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 23, 2018  ...  DcDc:  Banks v. Conner  ...   AGRICULTURE DISPUTES DECISION THAT HER REMOVAL FROM SES WAS SEX BASED.  ...   Plaintiff Denise Banks brought this action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against Defendant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA” or “Defendant”), alleging, among other things, that she was discriminatorily removed from her Senior Executive Service position while employed at USDA based on her sex and race.         Plaintiff’s discrimination claims survived summary judgment and proceeded to trial.         At trial, the jury agreed that Plaintiff’s sex was a motivating factor in her demotion and returned a damages award of $100,000. The jury, however, found in favor of USDA on Plaintiff’s race discrimination claim.         The jury’s verdict lies at the heart of the parties’ motions that are now before the court. In a motion filed under Rule 50 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, USDA argues that the verdict cannot be sustained and asks the court to enter judgment as a matter of law in its favor on Plaintiff’s sex discrimination claim.         [...] Plaintiff, on the other hand, maintains that the verdict should be upheld and, by her own motion, seeks an equitable award consisting of reinstatement to the Senior Executive Service, back pay, and a clean employment record.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 22, 2018  ...  DcDc:  Robinson-Douglas v. Coastal  ...   WHEN WOMEN ARE DISCIPLINED FOR CLEAR ACTS OF MISCONDUCT, SOME FALSELY CLAIM SEX DISCRIMINATION AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT AS REAL REASON.  ...   Plaintiff Content Robinson-Douglas v(“plaintiff’) brings this action against her former employer, defendant Coastal International Security, Inc. (“defendant” or “Coastal”) to challenge her allegedly unlawful termination. In her amended complaint, plaintiff contends that Coastal violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act [...] by discriminating against her on the basis of sex and retaliating against her for engaging in statutorily protected activities.         Coastal counters that plaintiff Was terminated not on the basis of sex or as an act of retaliation, but because plaintiff failed a security test and committed various infractions of company policy While stationed as a security guard at the Department of Commerce (“DOC”).         Coastal has thus moved for summary judgment on all claims. Upon consideration of the parties’ submissions andthe entire record, defendant’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 22, 2018  ...  Fed. Cir.:  Lockwood v. DVA  ... Petitioner petitions for review of an arbitration decision sustaining his indefinite suspension from employment with the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”).         Petitioner is employed as a firefighter at the VA Medical Center near Alexandria, Louisiana. In July 2014, the VA police began an investigation into allegations that the petitioner was stalking female employees at the hospital facility.         As part of the investigation, a VA police officer filed a series of police investigative reports in October 2014. In the initial report, dated October 2, 2014, the officer recounted statements made by five individuals who reported that the petitioner had followed female employees around the medical campus; had entered an employee’s vehicle uninvited; had engaged in unwanted physical contact with one employee; and had “followed other employees off campus to their residences” and “followed other female employees around town.” Some of the women stated that the petitioner had made them feel uneasy and unsafe.         A follow-up report dated October 7, 2014, described additional allegations of stalking, including a statement from one employee that the petitioner’s constant presence had caused her anxiety and fear. She added that she could not work late when needed “due to the fact that he is constantly around and watching her.” In another report, the officer described an incident that he personally observed in which the petitioner sprinted toward an employee and then followed a few paces behind her before abruptly leaving the area when he noticed the police officer’s presence.         On October 15, 2014, two officers from the VA police department notified the petitioner that there was a warrant for his arrest and transported him to the local sheriff’s office where he was booked on three counts of stalking.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 21, 2018       NO NEW DECISIONS, INFO. SORRY.

thanks 4 your service.

☀       February 16, 2018  ...  DcDc:  Parks v. Giant Food   ...   THREATENED,TRANSFERRED, WRITTEN UP, TERMINATED.      Tony D. Parks was formerly employed at various Giant Food grocery stores. On April 3, 2017, he brought a law suit against Giant in D.C_ Superior Court, alleging that after being promoted he “was not given the proper raise and after he filed a “retaliation suit” he was “threatened by a manager,transferred, written up then terminated.”   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 15, 2018  ...  VAOIG:  ADMINISTRATIVE INVESTIGATION – VA SECRETARY AND DELEGATION TRAVEL TO EUROPE.       The 11-day trip included two extensive travel days and three-and-a-half days of official events—with a cost to VA of at least $122,334.      The group’s schedule, however, included significant time for preplanned tourist activities by Secretary Shulkin, his wife, and others on the delegation.         After a thorough investigation, OIG’s findings included (1) the Chief of Staff’s alteration of a document and misrepresentations to ethics officials caused Secretary Shulkin’s wife to be approved as an “invitational traveler,” which authorized VA to pay her travel costs (although only airfare was claimed); (2) Secretary Shulkin improperly accepted a gift of Wimbledon tickets and related hospitality; (3) a VA employee’s time was misused as a personal travel concierge to plan tourist activities exceeding that necessary for security arrangements; and (4) travelers’ documentation was inadequate to determine the trip’s full costs to VA. The OIG did not assess the value of the trip to VA or determine whether the Europe travel, as conducted, was “essential,” per VA policy.      Summary   Report

☀       February 14, 2018  ...  DcDc:  Caires v. FDIC  ...   WHEN THE "FLIP-THIS-HOUSE" FUN FADES ... OVER 5 MILLION IN DEBT.  ...   For Plaintiff Richard Caires, it might feel like Groundhog Day. Caires, who has been trying to avoid repayment of a $5.5 million loan he obtained from Washington Mutual Bank in 2005, has filed, reworked, and re-filed several markedly similar lawsuits in four different courts over the past ten years. Each time he loses – whether on the merits or because of a jurisdictional bar – he tries again. This time around, Plaintiff has filed suit against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation seeking a declaratory judgment on the current ownership of the loan and damages for a bevy of alleged injuries.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 14, 2018  ...  DcDc:  Braun v. Interior  ...   Plaintiff Jason Brian Braun is a former employee of the Department of the Interior (“DOI”). After his employment ended in 2010, Braun brought administrative claims that he had been subject to disability discrimination during his employment.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 13, 2018  ...  Fed. Cir.:  Hirschfield v. OPM  ...   WHAT A WASTE OF COURT TIME: $240 ... WANTED TO SEE HER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE UP IN LIGHTS ?   ...   S.G. Hirschfield was unmarried at the time of her retirement from federal service in January 2012. On May 5, 2015, she married Jean Roberta Rizzo. On February 17, 2016, she elected a partial survivor annuity payable to Rizzo in the event of Hirschfield’s death.         In April 2016, OPM informed Hirschfield that she had received an overpayment of $240.00. Here, Hirschfield appeals the final decision of MSPB which affirmed a $240 annuity overpayment calculation by OPM.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 12, 2018  ...  Fed. Cir.:  O'Farrell v. Defense  ...   REVERSED ... DAMIT ... REVERSED !!!  ...   Petitioner Michael J. O’Farrell, Jr. appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”), alleging, inter alia, that his employing agency, the U.S. Department of Defense (“DOD” or “Government”) failed to grant him military leave for active military service in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”) [...] . An administrative judge (“AJ”) issued an initial decision denying Mr. O’Farrell’s claim and dismissing his appeal.         DECISION:  We have considered the Government’s remaining arguments and find them unpersuasive. Accordingly, the Final Decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board is REVERSED.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 12, 2018  ...  FLRA:  ILUNA v. National Guard  ...   Statement of the Case   This matter is before the Authority on a negotiability appeal filed under § 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute). It concerns the negotiability of one multi-part proposal that would require the Agency to provide certain dual-status technicians (technicians) with military uniforms or, in the alternative, an $800 annual allowance for such uniforms.         The parties dispute what portions of the proposal are before the Authority—namely, whether or not the portions that apply to enlisted technicians are at issue.         The Union argues that the portions of the proposal at issue concern whether the Agency could provide: (1) officer or warrant officer technicians (collectively, officer technicians) with uniforms; and (2) an $800 annual allowance to officer technicians or enlisted technicians if they do not receive a uniform.         The Agency included with its statement of position (statement) a copy of a Federal Service Impasses Panel (Panel) settlement, and argues that the Panel settlement resolved the issue of enlisted technician uniforms and allowances, and that the only remaining portion of the proposal involves whether or not the Agency can provide officer technicians with uniforms or, alternatively, allowances.         Turning to the negotiability of the proposal, [...]   ...   FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 9, 2018  ...  4th Cir.:  Fleming v. Richard v. Spencer  ...   Bruce Fleming, an English Professor at the United States Naval Academy, challenges three employment actions — a letter of reprimand, the denial of a merit pay increase, and the denial of a request for funding — as a violation of his First Amendment right to academic freedom.         This case involves the “comprehensive” and “integrated scheme of administrative and judicial review” established by Congress in the Civil Service Reform Act (“CSRA”), for claims arising out of federal employment.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 8, 2018  ...  11th Cir.:  Patsalides v. Fort Pierce  ...   SHE GOT HER MALE CO-WORKER FIRED QUICKLY DESPITE QUESTIONABLE ALLEGATIONS, NOW SHE WANTS TO GET PAID,TOO.  ...   Nicole Patsalides appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the City of Fort Pierce on her claims of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual harassment and retaliation [...].         Patsalides’s claims arise from a series of incidents between herself and a male co-worker that occurred after her three months of police training on the job and in her first two weeks as a patrol officer for the police department of the City of Fort Pierce. During that time, by her account, a male patrol officer with whom she worked touched her repeatedly in ways that she considered to be inappropriate, and in general showed an undue interest in her. Over the relevant two-week period, the male officer touched her arm, shoulder, or hands on approximately ten different occasions, and on one occasion rubbed his hand on her thigh from up by her service belt all the way down to her knee. The male officer would also arrive as backup on police calls to which Patsalides was dispatched without being called for, and tried to maximize the amount of time that he spent with her.         Notably, however, Patsalides does not claim that the male officer ever made any remarks of a sexual or flirtatious nature to her.         After two weeks of this sort of behavior, Patsalides reported the male officer to a superior in the police department.         Within a day the department launched an investigation. Within three days the male officer was placed on paid administrative leave.         Thereafter, his employment with the City was terminated.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 8, 2018  ...  FLRA:  Justice (Prisons) v. AFGE  ...   MOST UNION REPS --- SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME --- OBSTRUCTING GOOD MANAGEMENT.  ...   The prison guard admitted that he had used marijuana when he tested positive during a routine test. His supervisor and Union representative encouraged him to submit to a retest. He agreed and again tested positive.         Then, following established procedures, the supervisor scheduled an interview with the guard and his Union representative. At the interview, however, the Union representative repeatedly interfered with the supervisor’s investigation by “suggest[ing]” and “feeding answers” to the guard as to how he should respond to the supervisor’s questions.         Consequently, the supervisor asked the Union representative several times to stop “interfer[ing]” with his investigation and to stop “asking questions . . . that did not pertain to the investigation.”         As the Judge noted, the Agency has a “legitimate interest . . . [in] preserving the integrity of the investigation”[8] and that an agency may “place reasonable limitations on the . . . representative’s participation . . . in order . . . to achieve the objective of the examination.” ... Read On ... Read On.  ...   FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 7, 2018  ...  Fed Cir.:  Soliman v. U.S. (State)  ...   Soliman is a former State Department employee who served as a legal advisor in the State Department’s Iraqi Transition Assistance Office (“ITAO”). Executive Order 13,431 established ITAO as a temporary office to support the United States in “concluding remaining large infrastructure projects expeditiously in Iraq, in facilitating Iraq’s transition to self-sufficiency, and in maintaining an effective diplomatic presence in Iraq.” [...]. ITAO personnel were hired pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 3161, id., which authorizes appointment of personnel to a temporary organization within the government.         On April 30, 2009, the State Department confirmed Soliman’s “temporary excepted appointment” as a “PRT Rule of Law Senior Advisor” in the ITAO for a term effective May 14, 2009 and not to exceed June 13, 2010. [...] The State Department terminated Soliman’s “temporary appointment” with the ITAO effective December 2, 2009.         In 2010, Soliman initiated unsuccessful Equal Employment Opportunity Commission proceedings against the State Department alleging discrimination in connection with his termination. In 2013, Soliman filed suit against the government in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (“D.C. District Court”) challenging the termination of his employment on multiple grounds, including breach of contract.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 6, 2018  ...  USCFC:  Wade v. (Army)  ...   Plaintiff Tanya V. Wade's most recent duty location, prior to her retirement after thirty-six years of government service, was at the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate (WMRD), a Directorate within the ARL, where she was an "Administrative Officer [GS-13 equivalent] for Dr. Patrick J. Baker, Director of Weapons and Materials Research .... "         In the spring of 2015, Ms. Wade states that she informed her immediate supervisor, the then-Director of WMRD, Dr. Baker, of her intent to retire. During this discussion, Ms. Wade alleges that Dr. Baker asked plaintiff if she was interested in returning to the ARL after she retired to work part-time as a reemployed annuitant for two years.         Ms. Wade claims that she informed Dr. Baker that she was interested in working part-time as a reemployed annuitant, and that Dr. Baker "instructed me to prepare the required documentation. Ms. Wade, however, was not rehired as a reemployed annuitant.         Plaintiff Tanya V. Wade filed a complaint in this court alleging that the defendant, United States Army Research Laboratory (ARL), breached an express or implied-in-fact contract with the plaintiff. Ms. Wade alleges that her agreement with the ARL "stipulated" that, following her retirement from the ARL, she would return to the ARL to work as a re-employed annuitant for two years on a part-time basis.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       OPM: New Recruitment, Relocation, and Retention Incentive Waiver Request Templates and Updated Calculation Fact Sheets.

☀       February 2, 2018  ...  ScDc:  Steiner v. Chaabad  ...  BET YOU CANNOT READ THIS DECISION WITHOUT GETTING LOST.  ...   Appellant Rabbi Yehuda Steiner was hired by American Friends of Lubavitch (AFL), a nonprofit affiliated with ―the Chabad-Lubavitch movement,‖ to run AFL‘s campus outreach at George Washington University (GW). The noncompete and noninterference clauses at issue in this case appear in an employment contract Rabbi Steiner signed—on behalf of himself and his wife, Rivky Steiner—with one of the organization‘s representatives, appellee Rabbi Levi Shemtov. When the Steiners‘ employment ended under contested circumstances, Rabbi Shemtov and appellee AFL filed a complaint alleging a breach of contract and successfully sought a preliminary injunction that required the Steiners to refrain from competing or interfering with AFL‘s involvement at George Washington University.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       February 1, 2018  ...  6th Cir.:  Wilson v. Brennan  ...   Frank Wilson sued his former employer, the United States Postal Service, bringing 20 separate “claims” under the United States Constitution, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act [...]and tort law (including negligence, conspiracy, and infliction of emotional distress). Nearly all arose from three instances of alleged wrongdoing in 2014, which Wilson largely attributes to racial discrimination.         Wilson primarily alleges that he was subjected to racial discrimination, retaliation for filing charges with the EEOC, and other unlawful conduct three times in 2014. First, a supervisor told him to come into work on a day he had been scheduled to have off. Second, “the proper procedure was not followed” when he was “issued discipline” for (admittedly) failing to wear his seatbelt while operating a mail truck. And third, after he retired, he received a letter warning him that he was in jeopardy of being considered absent without leave because of his recent pattern of absenteeism.         Wilson also complained about five more situations, mostly disciplinary actions, that occurred in 2012. All of these incidents, Wilson asserted, provided a basis for his employment-discrimination, retaliation, and related claims.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

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☀       January 31, 2018  ...  4th Cir.:  Hernandez v. Fairfax  ...   Magaly Hernandez, a female fire-fighter employed by Fairfax County, Virginia (the County), appeals from the district court’s award of summary judgment in favor of the County in her action alleging a hostile work environment and retaliation [...].   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       January 30, 2018  ...  7th Cir.:  Delgado v. MSPB  ...   SPECIAL NOTE:   This federal whistleblower case presents our first review of a decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board since Congress expanded judicial review beyond the Federal Circuit, at least temporarily. Petitioner Adam Delgado is a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.         He alleges that his supervisors retaliated against him after he reported his suspicions that another agent had improperly shot at a fleeing suspect, provided an inaccurate report of the incident, and testified falsely about it in a federal criminal trial.         Delgado filed a whistleblower complaint with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) [...] . The OSC declined to investigate.         Delgado then appealed to [MSPB], but the Board dismissed his appeal for lack of jurisdiction.         Delgado has petitioned for judicial review of the dismissal of his appeal.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       January 30, 2018  ...  DelSupCt:  Gumbs v. Delaware  ...   In 1996, Plaintiff began her employment with the Delaware Department of Labor Office of Anti-Discrimination (“OAD”) as an Administrative Assistant to the Director of Industrial Affairs. Gumbs was promoted to the position of Labor Law Enforcement Officer l in 1997, to Law Enforcement Ofticer ll in 1999, and to Labor Law Enforcement Supervisor in 2006. In December 2011, when the OAD administrator, Regulatory Specialist Julie Petroff (“Petroff”), left her position, Gumbs was temporarily promoted to Acting Regulatory Specialist. Her duties expanded in accordance with this promotion. She also received a commensurate increase in pay.         In March 2012, the DOL posted the Regulatory Specialist position. Two preferred qualifications were added to the position: (l) possession of a Juris Doctor degree and (2) experience in employment and/or discrimination claim resolution. Acting OAD Director, Bob Strong (“Strong”), was the hiring manager for the position. Strong reported to Secretary of Labor John McMahon (“McMahon”).         Plaintiff applied for the Regulatory Specialist position. All of the qualified candidates, including Gumbs, were interviewed by a panel. The interview panel consisted of two women and one man. The panel asked each interviewee the same standard questions. Neither Strong nor McMahon were present for Gumbs’ interview. Strong was present for a second interview with the individual who was ultimately chosen for the position. Daniel McGannon (“McGannon”) was eventually offered, and accepted, the position. McGannon graduated from Widener Law School in 2010 and worked for Saltz Polisher, P.C. in employment discrimination for nearly one year.         After McGannon accepted the position, Plaintiff was informed she had not been chosen for the job. She was also asked to assist McGannon, as he had relatively little work experience At this point, Gumbs began to suspect she had not been selected for the position due to her gender and age. She filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) alleging gender and age discrimination as well as Equal Pay Act violations.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       January 29, 2018  ...  Fed. Cir.:  Mott v. DVA  ...   SHE APPEALS THE DECISION THAT MITIGATED HER REMOVAL TO A DEMOTION.   ...   Ms. Mott served for fifteen years at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa.         Before she was demoted, Ms. Mott served as a Supervisory Medical Administration Specialist, a role in which her principal responsibilities were to: ensure that all available clinical appointment slots were filled to the maximum extent possible, which could be done “frequently, if not daily, distribute scheduled appointments among the assistants; and monitor and fill open appointment slots, last minute cancelations, or no shows.         In November 2013, the VA proposed and ultimately decided to remove Ms. Mott from this position based on the following three charges, some with multiple specifications: (1) failure to properly perform duties (eleven specifications); (2) failure to perform supervisory duties (five specifications); and (3) failure to perform duties in a timely manner (one specification)         Ms. Mott subsequently appealed her Removal to the MSPB.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       January 26, 2017  ...  FLRA:  Defense (DCMA) v. AFGE  ...   The Union grieved the Agency’s denial of recurring sick leave for two grievants, and the Arbitrator found that the Agency violated Article 20 of the parties’ agreement when it denied both grievants’ sick-leave requests.         In an award dated April 3, 2017, Arbitrator Ronald F. Talarico found that the Agency violated Article 20 of the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement (agreement) when it denied two grievants’ sick-leave requests.         The main question before us is whether the Agency’s exceptions to the Arbitrator’s award are timely. .  ...   FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       OPM:  Pay and Leave for Employees Affected by the Lapse in Appropriations and Continued Pay Freeze for Certain Senior Political Officials.

☀       January 24, 2018  ...  9th Cir.:  Demaree v. Krause  ...   WHEN SOCIAL WORKERS BECOME OVERLY ABUSIVE TOWARDS PARENTS - THEN CLAIM PROFESSIONAL IMMUNITY WHEN SUED.  ...   BACKGROUND   A.J. Demaree dropped off some family photos to be printed at a Wal-Mart in Arizona on Friday, August 29, 2008. While developing the pictures, an employee noticed that several pictures portrayed nude children. Wal-Mart called the police. Detective John Krause came and collected the pictures. On Saturday, he photocopied the ones that concerned the Wal-Mart employee and went to the Demarees’ home.         Once there, he and his partner separately interviewed parents Lisa and A.J. Demaree. When asked what he would do with one photo, which portrayed his three children lying down on a towel nude, focusing on their exposed buttocks but with some genitalia showing, he responded, “I’m not going to do anything with that one. That’s not going in a photo album; that’s just one we have.” Krause said, “Obviously you’re not going to share it with somebody, I would hope,” to which A.J. responded, “No, absolutely not!” Krause then asked why he would take the photo in the first place, and A.J. responded, “So when we look back on em years later, look at their cute little butts.”         None of the photographs portrayed children engaged in sexual activity. None portrayed the children’s genitalia frontally. As the home search was nearing its end, and after the children had been returned to their parents, Child Protective Services (“CPS”) investigating officer Laura Pederson called one of the police officers to discuss the case.         After reviewing the evidence Krause showed her, Laura Pederson decided to take the children into emergency temporary custody, without obtaining a court order or a warrant. She discussed her recommendation with her supervisor, Amy Van Ness, who agreed.    THE COURT:   We consider here Lisa and Anthony (“A.J.”) Demaree’s [The Parents] contention that social workers Laura Pederson and Amy Van Ness violated their constitutional rights to family unity and companionship, and their small children’s as well, by removing the children from home without a warrant or court order.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       January 22, 2018  ...  6th Cir.:  Block v. Meharry Med. College  ...   CAUCASIAN MALE PROFESSOR, HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE   ...   Robert Block, a Caucasian man, was hired as a professor of dentistry at Meharry Medical College, a historically black institution. Block served as an associate professor and as chair of the school’s Endodontics Department until June 2013. During this time period, Meharry’s administration received multiple complaints regarding Block, and he was repeatedly reprimanded for his unprofessional behavior. In June 2013, Block was informed that although he would retain his associate professor position, his chair position would not be renewed for the following year. Block then filed an EEOC claim against Meharry, was issued a right to sue letter, and brought this suit in district court.         In the district court, Block raised two primary issues: First, Block claimed discrimination based on his alleged demotion from full professor to associate professor. Second, Block brought discrimination and retaliation claims based on his removal as Chair of Endodontics. The district court granted summary judgment for Meharry, finding that the discrimination claim based on the alleged associate-professor demotion was time-barred and that Block had failed to show that Meharry’s reason for nonrenewal of his chair position—his unprofessional conduct—was pretextual. Block Appealed.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       January 19, 2018  ...  FLRA:  Treasury v. NTEU  ...  THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF AN AGENCY WILLING TO STAND UP AND FIGHT --- AGAINST LAZY, GOOD-MANAGEMENT HATING UNIONS,    AND    THE PRO-UNION FLRA MACHINE --- AND WIN !!!  ...   STATEMENT OF THE CASE:    The Union petitioned Federal Labor Relations Authority Regional Director Richard S. Jones (RD) to clarify the bargaining-unit status of seven information technology (IT) project managers. In the attached decision, the RD found that, because the IT project managers are not professional employees under the definition found in the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute),[1] they should be included in the bargaining unit. Specifically, the RD found that the work of the IT project managers did not require “knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study in an institution of higher learning” as required by the Statute (the knowledge requirement) to qualify as a professional employee.[2]         In its application for review, the Agency alleges that the RD made several errors. First, the Agency alleges that the RD made a clear and prejudicial error concerning a substantial factual matter when he found that the vacancy announcements did not require higher education or the equivalent level of experience. Because the occupational series assigned to IT project managers as determined by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), 2210 and 0301, require higher education or equivalent experience, we find that the RD made a clear and prejudicial error concerning a substantial factual matter.         Furthermore, the Agency alleges that the RD made a clear and prejudicial error concerning a substantial factual matter when he found   ... CONTINUED ...    FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       January 17, 2018  ...  5th Cir.:  Pequeno v. Univ of TX  ...   IS THIS A CLASSIC CASE OF AGE DISCRIMINATION ?  ...   Juan Pequeño appeals the district court’s threshold and summary judgment orders disposing of his employment discrimination claims. 1 Pequeño alleges that the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB), Texas Southmost College (TSC), and several administrators terminated his employment because of his age and retaliated against him by declining to re-employ him.         From 2004 to 2013, Pequeño worked as an “Academic Advisor” at UTB’s Academic Advising Center. He alleges, however, that he was employed both by UTB (a state university) and TSC (a junior college) because the two schools had partnered. In 2013, after UTB and TSC decided to end their partnership, UTB reduced its workforce. In deciding which positions to eliminate, UTB’s advising director set a cutoff based on performance evaluation scores from the past three years. Pequeño’s average performance scores fell below that cutoff. So on April 2, 2013, UTB sent a letter informing him that his position would be eliminated that August.         The problem, Pequeño alleges, is that the cutoff was above the true mean for all academic advisors and thus targeted older advisors. According to Pequeño, the university retained or rehired younger and less qualified advisors.         On January 20, 2014, Pequeño filed an age discrimination charge against TSC with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Texas Workforce Commission.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       January 16, 2018  ...  5th Cir.:  United States v. Murra  ...   WHEN WOMEN RULE, THERE WILL BE NO ABUSE. ... JUST LOVE, PEACE AND RESPECT FOR ALL !  ...   According to the evidence and testimony presented at trial, Ms. Olga Murra used psychological manipulation, mental and physical abuse, and threats of abuse to coerce both Vania and Ingrid to work for her without pay for over a decade.         Around 1985, while living in Mexico, Murra and her family (her children and now-deceased husband) met Ingrid Guerrero and her three sisters—Tania, Yuriria, and Jehan—who were living apart from their mother and father because of a tumultuous home life. A few years into their relationship with Murra, the Guerreros began attending church at Murra’s home, with Murra “preaching” and leading the services. Murra later told the sisters that they should move out of their house and live with her, which they did.         Shortly thereafter, Murra began to inflict physical and psychological abuse on the Guerreros. Murra would hit them with a wooden paddle almost daily as punishment for being “obscene” or “rebellious,” or if they didn’t agree with something she said. She made Ingrid sit in baths of ice water because she wasn’t “pure.” She forced the sisters to sleep in the laundry room, at times for up to a week, because she felt they needed to repent for their “sins.” She would slap the sisters, cut their hair, and tell them “nobody will love you.”         Murra told the sisters that “she was a prophet from God.” Based on this, they believed that whatever Murra said came directly from God.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       January 12, 2018  ...  NEWS:  NEW "FUNK MUSIC HALL OF FAME" IN DAYTON OHIO.

☀       January 12, 2018  ...  6th Cir.:  Keith Saunders  v. Ford Motor Co  ...   IF FORD KNEW WHAT "N.W.A" REALLY STOOD FOR !!!  ...   Ford’s entire workforce is governed by a CBA negotiated between the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) and the company. Agreements and Letters of Understanding negotiated by local UAW bargaining units and Ford provide additional contractual requirements at the plant level.         Shortly after beginning work at Ford’s Twin Cities Plant in 2001, Saunders injured his right arm when it got caught in a machine called an electric nut-runner that he inadvertently switched on while being trained to install coolant lines in car radiators. The injury has caused him to lose almost all use of that arm.         The UAW often struggles to secure permanent job placements for medically restricted Ford workers like Saunders. And Saunders’s post-injury employment history reflects those difficulties. In the initial aftermath of Saunders’s injury, Ford assigned him to a series of temporary jobs. The company next assigned him to an airbag-installation job, but placed him on NWA status when he developed carpal-tunnel syndrome from the work. Ford eventually assigned Saunders to a torque-inspector job, a position that involves using a handheld computer to check nuts and bolts on vehicles for tightness. Saunders worked in that position for nearly eight years.         Saunders contends that Ford breached the applicable collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by twice placing him on temporary leave—known as no-work-available (NWA) status—and that his local union breached its duty of fair representation by failing to fully pursue his grievances. He also alleges that Ford retaliated against him by placing him on NWA status not long after he reopened a workers’ compensation claim against the company.     COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


☀       January 11, 2018  ...  4th Cir.:  Lacasse v. Didlake  ...   Didlake, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides rehabilitative services to, creates employment options for, and renders other direct assistance to over 2,000 individuals with disabilities.         Chantal Lacasse, a 26-year-old woman with epilepsy and learning disabilities, was first a beneficiary of Didlake’s job placement services. In 2013, Didlake directly employed her as a janitor at the Defense Logistics Agency at Fort Belvoir, Virginia (“DLA”).         As a janitor at the DLA, Lacasse was supervised by Didlake Janitorial Supervisor Brenda Morales. Morales was in turn supervised by Didlake Project Manager Roy Evo.         Lacasse alleges that on Thursday, August 15, 2013, Evo found her in a supply closet near the end of her shift and kissed her. According to Lacasse, the incident ended abruptly because someone knocked on the closet door.         In December 2013, however, Lacasse’s workplace behavior began to deteriorate. Between December 2013 and late April 2014, Lacasse was counseled and disciplined four times for inappropriate workplace behavior.         By policy, Didlake places an employee with a disability on a paid suspension when prior counseling fails to resolve an ongoing behavioral issue to allow the employee to regroup and become successful in the future.         Lacasse resigned from her DLA position on May 19, 2014, after reporting her unhappiness with her job. After Lacasse resigned, Didlake sought to assist her in determining her next steps, but Lacasse declined this offer. Lacasse filed suit against Didlake, alleging eight causes of action: (1) battery, (2) assault, (3) false imprisonment, (4) intentional infliction of emotional distress, (5) hostile work environment in violation of Title VII, (6) retaliation in violation of Title VII, (7) disability discrimination in violation of the ADA, and (8) retaliation in violation of the ADA. Although Lacasse included Evo in her state law claims, because he was never served with process, the district court dismissed Lacasse’s claims against him. Additionally, the district court granted summary judgment in Didlake’s favor on all counts. Lacasse appeals summary judgment on all counts except for her retaliation claims.         “We review a district court’s decision to grant summary judgment de novo, applying the same legal standards as the district court, and viewing all facts and reasonable inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.”   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       January 10, 2018  ...  6th Cir.:  Barlia v. MWI  ...   FIRED FOR POOR PERFORMANCE, SHE SEARCHES FOR HER INNER VICTIM-HOOD ... " I TOO, AM A VICTIM ! "  ...   MWI Veterinary Supply, Inc. (“MWI”) is a distributor of animal-health products. On October 27, 2008, MWI hired Julie Barlia as an outside sales representative (“OSR”) for southeastern Michigan. Barlia’s job consisted of promoting and selling animal-health products and equipment to veterinary care providers in a designated sales territory. Throughout her time with the company, Barlia reported to Terry Walsh, MWI’s Great Lakes Regional Manager.         As an OSR, Barlia was expected to hit 95 percent of her monthly and fiscal-year sales goals; but beginning in 2013, she struggled to do so. During fiscal year (“FY”) 2013—which ran from October 1, 2012, until September 30, 2013—Barlia repeatedly missed the 95-percent target. In January, February, and March 2013, for instance, Barlia attained only 89.5 percent, 92.7 percent, and 93.9 percent, respectively, of her sales goals. Following the realignment of her territory in March—at which time several of her top accounts were given to Jeffrey Kloosterman, a newly-hired OSR—Barlia’s monthly and annual sales goals were reduced by five percent. Despite this indulgence, Barlia once again missed her targets in April (92.8 percent), May (85.1 percent), June (87.8 percent), and September 2013 (91.5 percent). Her fiscal-year-end performance review reflected these results, scoring Barlia’s quantitative performance as 1.87— just below a score of “meets expectations.”         Barlia did, however, score well in several qualitative measures and garnered an “overall average score” of 2.42, somewhere between “meets expectations” and “exceeds expectations.” She also had a fiscal-year sales average of 95.94 percent.         In FY 2014, Barlia continued to struggle. In October and November 2013, she again fell short of her 95-percent target.   ...  CONTINUED   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       January 8, 2018  ...  4th Cir.:  U.S. EEOC v. MIA  ...   MANAGEMENT-HATING EEOC IS UP TO IT'S OLD TRICKS, TRYING TO SHAKE DOWN MANAGEMENT WITH FAKE "EQUAL PAY DISCRIMINATION" CLAIMS.  ...   The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the EEOC) brought this action on behalf of three female employees against their employer alleging salary discrimination under the Equal Pay Act (the EPA), 29 U.S.C. § 206(d).         The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer, the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), and the EEOC appealed.         MIA is an independent state agency that performs various functions related to the regulation of Maryland’s insurance industry and the enforcement of Maryland’s insurance laws. Md. Code, Ins. §§ 2-101, 2-102. MIA is subject to the State Personnel Management System, a merit-based system, which establishes job categories based on the general nature of required duties and sets corresponding levels of compensation. Md. Code, State Pers. & Pens. §§ 6-102(1)(i), (2), (3). Although MIA, as an independent state agency, is given discretion to set its employees’ salaries, MIA follows the hiring and salary practices of Maryland’s Department of Budget and Management, which promulgates a Standard Pay Plan Salary Schedule (the Standard Salary Schedule).         In accordance with the Standard Salary Schedule, when a new employee is hired, MIA assigns that employee to a grade level matching the position being filled. Each grade level carries an assigned base salary and a specific salary range consisting of 20 separate steps. After designating a new employee’s particular grade level, MIA assigns the new hire to an initial step placement based on prior work experience, relevant professional designations, and licenses or certifications. In selecting a particular step level, MIA also considers the difficulty of recruiting for the position, and, under Maryland law, also awards a new employee credit for any prior years of service in state employment for the purposes of determining that employee’s step in the applicable pay grade. Md. Code, State Pers. & Pens. § 2-601. Additionally, a Maryland government employee who transfers to a “lateral” position takes her assigned grade and step with her to the new position.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


☀       January 3, 2018  ...  FLRA:  OSHA v. AFGE  ...   The Petitioner has filed an application for review (application) of Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) Regional Director (RD) John R. Pannozzo’s attached decision and order. The Petitioner had filed a petition asking the RD to clarify the bargaining‑unit status of the position that she had held before the Agency terminated her.         The Petitioner occupied an administrative-assistant position at the Agency until her termination. After her termination, she filed a petition with the FLRA’s San Francisco Regional Office seeking to clarify whether, before her termination, her former position had been included in the bargaining unit that the Union represents. The RD ordered the Petitioner to show cause why the petition should not be dismissed on the grounds that, at the time he issued his order: (1) the Petitioner did not occupy the position, and (2) no party had identified any pending grievance or other appeal action that would require a determination of the Petitioner’s former bargaining-unit status. In response, the Petitioner claimed that she had been denied her right to file a grievance because her former position had been erroneously excluded from the unit when she occupied the position.   ...   FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       January 3, 2018  ...  VAOIG:      The VA Office of Inspector General Administrative Investigations Division received an allegation that Dr. Gavin West, former (reassigned) Senior Medical Advisor to Dr. Thomas Lynch, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health (ADUSH) for Clinical Operations, and a former (resigned) VA employee misused VA travel funds for personal rather than official business. We did not substantiate the allegation of a misuse of VA travel funds .         In reviewing Dr. West’s personnel records related to the original allegation, we found that Dr. West was improperly paid $19,800 for Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expenses (TQSE) in connection with a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move that he did not execute. The TQSE was paid to Dr. West to relocate from his then duty station in Salt Lake City, UT to Washington, DC, after accepting a position as the Special Assistant to the ADUSH for Clinical Operations on September 22, 2013. Dr. West did not relocate nor did he repay VA for the TQSE. We also found that his annual salary was increased from $188,049 to $206,527 to make his “salary competitive with the market rate in the Washington DC Metro geographical region.” Because he did not relocate, this resulted in overpayments to Dr. West of over $55,000.      Summary   Report

☀       January 2, 2018  ...  Fed.Cir.:  Bryant v. MSPB  ...   Rob Bryant, Brian Ferguson, and Andreas Hau (to- gether, “Petitioners”) seek review of the final orders of the Merit Systems Protection Board (the “Board”), dismissing their appeals for lack of jurisdiction.     BACKGROUND     Petitioners were employed as air interdiction agents by the Office of Air and Marine (“OAM” or the “Agency”), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is within the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”). On March 7, 2013, while employed by the Agency, Petitioners appealed to the Board, alleging that the Agency’s actions and policies violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act [...]. It is undisputed that Bryant and Hau were members of the U.S. Air Force Reserve and Ferguson was a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve at all relevant times.         On April 20, 2014, while his appeal was pending and before a hearing was held, Hau resigned from the Agency. Petitioners’ appeals to the Board were thereafter consolidated, and a hearing was held on August 7, 2014. On August 15, 2014, Ferguson resigned from the Agency, and, also on that date, Petitioners filed a post-hearing brief arguing, inter alia, that they were “forced to quit the Agency” due to discriminatory and harassing work conditions and “constructively discharged due to the hostile work environment.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 29, 2017  ...  FLRA:  AFGE v. Labor  ...   American Federation of Government Employees, Local 12 (Union) and United States Department of Labor (Agency) .  ...   FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 29, 2017  ...  FLRA:  Navy v. TVFEMTC  ...   United States Department of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic (NAVFAC MIDLANT), Norfolk, Virginia (Agency) and Tidewater Virginia Federal Employees, Metal Trades Council (Union).   ...   FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       OPM:  January 2018 Pay Adjustments. ... 2017 Annual Review of Special Rates (Results) ... Fiscal Year 2018 Prevailing Rate Pay Adjustments

☀       December 28, 2017  ...  DcDc:  Ames v. Homeland (FEEMA)  ...   Plaintiff Harriett Ames, a dark-skinned African-American woman, is the former Chief of the Personnel Security Branch at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) As head of the Personnel Security Branch, Plaintiff’s responsibilities included adjudicating security clearances for employees.         Following events that began with agency management stripping her Branch of some of its adjudicatory responsibilities and ended with her reassignment to a different unit,         Plaintiff filed suit against Defendants under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, alleging both retaliation and race, color, and gender discrimination.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 28, 2017  ...  10th Cir.:  Mottas  v. Army  ...   Anthony Mottas appeals the decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (Board) denying his request for corrective action on his claim that he was subjected to personnel actions in retaliation for his whistle-blowing communication. ☀    BACKGROUND ☀    At the relevant times, Mr. Mottas was employed as a file clerk at the Department of the Army’s Irwin Army Community Hospital (Agency). He also helped at the front desk. On February 23, 2016, Mr. Mottas submitted an action request form to the Inspector General expressing two concerns relating to his workplace: (1) for the preceding six years, he and other employees were not given required daily breaks despite his requests to his supervisors; and (2) he was assigned to do more work without receiving a job reclassification. This disclosure arguably implicated Cynthia Sallee, Mr. Mottas’s direct supervisor, and Major Gordon Lyons, a member of Mr. Mottas’s chain of command.         On April 1, 2016, Shellie Bolger, an Agency employee, sent an email to her supervisor, Barbara Garber, stating she had heard that Mr. Mottas was going to be assigned to work with her again after several months of working apart. Ms. Bolger reported that when she had worked with him in the past, he had read the medical files in the file room and questioned her regarding the various medical providers’ actions. She indicated she did not agree with Mr. Mottas’s practice of reading other people’s medical files. Ms. Garber informed Major Lyons, who in turn informed Daniel Key, Compliance Specialist for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Mr. Key then investigated whether Mr. Mottas had violated HIPAA.         On April 5, 2016, four days after the Bolger email, Ms. Sallee placed Mr. Mottas on paid administrative leave for April 5 and 6, 2016. From April 7 to June 2, 2016, he was detailed to work in the Outpatient Records Department. Following an investigation, on June 1, 2016, the Agency issued Mr. Mottas a notice of counseling for violating HIPAA by reading the medical files. He was informed that his detail to Outpatient Medical Records would end, and he would be detailed to work in the Department of Behavioral Health beginning on June 2, 2016. There, he would perform the duties of a file clerk, but would have no front-desk duties. He was further informed that on June 16, 2016, he would begin a rotation to the Department’s various file rooms.         Mr. Mottas filed an Individual Right of Action with the Board alleging he was retaliated against for his Inspector General disclosure about daily breaks and job duties.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 27, 2017  ...  Fed. Cir.:  Henderson v. DVA  ...   Cathedral Henderson appeals the final decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (“board”) sustaining the decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) to suspend him indefinitely from his position with the agency.         BACKGROUND:    Henderson was employed as a GS–13 Program Analyst at the VA’s Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta, Georgia.         On July 8, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Henderson on fifty counts of making false statements related to health care matters in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1035, an offense punishable by fines, imprisonment, or both. The indictment alleged that between February 6, 2014, and February 11, 2014, Henderson “ordered employees of the VA under his direction to close over 2700 unresolved authorized consults for medical care for veterans by falsely declaring the consults to have been completed or refused by the patients, when in truth and fact, as Henderson then well knew, the consults were still pending and unresolved, and the veteran patients were still waiting for the authorized medical consults.”         In a letter dated July 22, 2015, the VA informed Henderson that it was proposing to suspend him for an indefinite period. The agency noted that: (1) Henderson had been indicted and arrested on fifty counts of making false statements related to health care matters in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1035; and (2) if convicted, he would “face a maximum sentence of [five] years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.”         The agency asserted that in light of Henderson’s indictment and arrest, it had “reasonable cause to believe” that he had committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment could be imposed. According to the VA, “[i]n light of the seriousness of [the] situation,” it was not in the agency’s best interest to allow Henderson to remain “in a duty status during the law enforcement investigation and any related judicial proceedings.”         ...         According to the board, “an indictment following an investigation and grand jury proceeding provides more than enough evidence of possible misconduct to meet the threshold requirement of reasonable cause.”   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 19, 2017  ...  6th Cir:  FLRA v. Army Nat'l Guard  ...   This case arises from the Guard’s decision to terminate two “dual-status” technicians. Under federal law, dual-status technicians occupy a “hybrid military-civilian position.”         They are military employees in that they must be members of the National Guard, hold a military grade, and wear an appropriate military uniform while performing military duties.         But they are also “Federal civilian employee[s]” who are “assigned to a civilian position.” As a result, dual- status technicians are “afforded the benefits and rights generally provided for federal employees in the civil service,” including rights under the FSLMRS.         In February 2014, the Guard concluded an investigation into misconduct at its training base in Grayling, Michigan. Based on its findings, the Guard terminated two dual-status technicians. The terminated technicians appealed this decision through the Guard’s internal administrative process, in which they were represented by their union, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local 2132, AFL-CIO (the “union”).   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 19, 2017  ...  Fed. Cir. :  Lowenstein  v. DVA  ...   David Leopold Lowenstein appeals the decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”) denying him relief in his Individual Right of Action (“IRA”) appeal. BACKGROUND Dr. Lowenstein worked as a chiropractor for the Department of Veterans Affairs (“Agency”) in the Iowa City VA Health Care System. He was terminated from his job because he engaged in persistent unprofessional behavior.         He filed an IRA appeal alleging the Agency retaliated against him for protected whistleblowing activity. He alleged he made protected disclosures to his supervisors including that the Agency granted Dr. Bonavito- Larragoite, another Agency chiropractor, acupuncture privileges beyond the scope of her certifications; that Dr. Bonavito-Larragoite double billed a patient; and that Dr. Bonavito-Larragoite applied prescription lidocaine to a patient.         He also alleged a complaint he filed with the Office of Special Counsel (“OSC”) disclosing alleged Agen- cy violations and a complaint he filed with the Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners after his termination constituted protected disclosures.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 15, 2017  ...  11th Cir.:  Hogue v. Army  ...   Larry E. Hogue appeals from the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Army in an employment discrimination lawsuit raising, among other things, claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). On appeal, Hogue argues that the district court erred in granting summary judgment to the Army, and presents his arguments on what evidence in the record is credible.         We review de novo a district court’s grant of summary judgment, considering the facts and drawing all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-movant.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 13, 2017  ...  Fed. Cir.:  Greer v. Air Force  ...   BACKGROUND    Mr. Greer is a former civilian employee of the Air Force (“the agency”) who worked as a Motor Vehicle Operator at Randolph Air Force Base. In November 2012, the agency proposed removing Mr. Greer for discourteous conduct and inappropriate comments.         On November 8, 2012, Mr. Greer and the agency en- tered into a last chance agreement, which provided that Mr. Greer would accept a 14-day suspension and would attend an Anger Management Program.         The agreement further provided that the agency would hold Mr. Greer’s removal in abeyance for 36 months but that the agency could remove him “should management learn of any additional misconduct for which the Agency’s Guide to Disciplinary Actions . . . lists a penalty of reprimand or greater.”         Finally, the agreement stated that “Mr. Greer voluntarily and unconditionally waives any and all rights that he may have to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and to grieve, complain, or litigate the removal action being held in abeyance.”         On October 8, 2013, the agency informed Mr. Greer that he was being removed from his position because he had violated the terms of the last chance agreement by making additional inappropriate comments to a supervisor.         On October 29, 2013, Mr. Greer filed an appeal with the MSPB challenging his removal.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 13, 2017  ...  Fed.Cir.:  Lentz v. MSPB  ...   CONSTRUCTIVE DISCHARGE ?  ...   Chase M. Lentz appeals the decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB or “Board”), holding that his resignation from federal employment was a voluntary act and not a constructive discharge. We vacate the Board’s decision, as based on incorrect evidentiary procedures including the inappropriate application of collateral estoppel. We remand to the MSPB for redetermination of the issue of constructive discharge.         BACKGROUND    Mr. Lentz entered federal service in 2002, and at the times here relevant was employed as a botanist with the Bureau of Land Management of the Department of the Interior (the “Agency”) in California. Mr. Lentz had no disciplinary record until May 15, 2014, when his supervisor issued a letter of reprimand for “acting outside the scope of his authority” and “conduct unbecoming.”         These charges were based on his authorization to permit goat grazing on certain public lands, without the prior approval of his supervisors. Id. On November 13, 2014 Mr. Lentz’s supervisor issued a letter proposing a fourteen-day suspension for various infractions, citing his management of interns, his behavior toward his supervisors, and his interaction with outside entities.         Soon after receiving this letter, Mr. Lentz went on medical leave. The proposed fourteen-day suspension was sustained on February 10, 2015, during his medical leave, to commence on February 15, 2015.         Mr. Lentz resigned on February 13, 2015. His letter of resignation cites harassment and a hostile work environment that aggravated an illness and his veterans disability, and made his work circumstances intolerable.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 12, 2017  ...  Fed. Cir.:  Jones v. HHS  ...   John Paul Jones, III appeals the final decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board, denying his claims under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”) and the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (“VEOA”). Mr. Jones contends that the Department of Health and Human Services violated his USERRA and VEOA rights by not selecting him for the position of Public Health Advisor (International Program Director) in HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”).   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 12, 2017  ...  7thCir-IL:  Taylor v. Dolton  ...   Gordie Taylor, a black firefighter formerly with the Dolton Fire Department, asserts claims under Title VII for discriminatory discharge and hostile work environment against the Village of Dolton and several of his former supervisors.         Taylor claims that he was subjected to racially offensive language when he worked at the Dolton Fire Department between 2009 and 2013. Two lieutenants in particular, David DuVall and Daniel Manning, used racial epithets and made derogatory comments to him about his race. DuVall, for instance, repeatedly used the word “nigger” and disparaged Taylor’s wife, who is white. In addition, Taylor claims that on separate occasions the two lieutenants and Fire Chief Terrence Hughes said that black firefighters “don’t belong” in the fire station. The last racially offensive comment occurred in early 2012, but Taylor did not file an EEOC charge until February 2013.         During his employment with the fire department, Taylor repeatedly was accused of smelling of alcohol while on duty, though no one saw him drinking on the job. DuVall and another lieutenant, Mike Moreno, were the first to report him. Taylor denied drinking and highlighted DuVall’s history of racial harassment, suggesting that DuVall made the accusation because of racial animus. Jerry McCullough, Hughes’s predecessor as fire chief, investigated both the drinking allegations and Taylor’s complaint of racial harassment, and in the process learned that coworkers previously had reported that Taylor smelled of alcohol.         A similar drinking accusation was later made by another lieutenant, Daniel Manning. Taylor responded to that allegation by asking McCullough to order an alcohol test. McCullough did so, preparing a written order—as required under the collective bargaining agreement with the firefighters’ union—directing Taylor to “take a test for alcohol,” though without specifying the type of test. Lieutenant Manning then drove Taylor to a nearby hospital for the procedure. Although McCullough’s written order did not mention a blood test, McCullough testified that he told the hospital staff, through Manning, to administer one. The defendants also insist that a blood test was required under the union agreement, which instructs that alcohol tests be conducted in a manner that preserves samples for confirmatory testing. Taylor refused the blood test but agreed to take a breathalyzer test, which showed no trace of alcohol in his system. McCullough regarded Taylor’s refusal to take the blood test as insubordinate, and he placed Taylor on administrative leave pending further investigation.         Around this time Hughes replaced McCullough as fire chief. Hoping to impose discipline short of firing Taylor, Hughes offered him a brief three‐day suspension. Taylor refused to accept this discipline, however, so Hughes fired him, citing “insubordinate and threatening behavior.” The following month, Taylor filed a complaint with the EEOC.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 7, 2017  ...  SCP:  Novak v. Somerset Hospital  ...   A REAL MAVERICK DOC ... A DOC OF ALL TRADES.  ...   Doctor Novak is a board certified general surgeon who practiced at Somerset Hospital from 1993 until 2005. In 2005, two patients approached Dr. Novak and asked him to perform surgery to replace implantable cardioverter defibrillator (“ICD”) generators.         Doctor Novak did not have hospital privileges to implant or change ICD devices, however, he agreed to perform these surgeries.         When Dr. Novak was about to begin surgery, operating room staff contacted Jonathan Kates, M.D., the Chair of Somerset’s Credentials Committee.         Doctor Kates approved the procedure, but Dr. Novak was not aware of Dr. Kates’ approval at the time he performed the surgeries. The surgeries were successful and no patients suffered any sequela as a result of the procedures performed.         Michael Farrell, Somerset’s Chief Executive Officer, assembled a task force of administrators to investigate the circumstances of the surgeries;   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 6, 2017  ...  11th Cir.:  EEOC v. CMS  ...   FEDERAL COURTS SMACKS DOWN COMMUNIST-FILLED EEOC FOR THE 100TH TIME THIS YEAR.  ...   Catastrophe Management Solutions does not hire anyone, black or white, who uses an “excessive hairstyle[ ],” a category that includes dreadlocks. So when Chastity Jones, a black woman, refused to remove her dreadlocks, CMS rescinded her employment offer.         The EEOC sued on her behalf, claiming that “[a] prohibition of dreadlocks in the workplace constitutes race discrimination because dreadlocks are a manner of wearing the hair that is physiologically and culturally associated with people of African descent.”         The EEOC’s lawsuit, in other words, sought to expand the definition of “race”—a term undefined in Title VII—to include anything purportedly associated with the culture of a protected group.         The district court dismissed the case, and a panel of this court affirmed because the EEOC’s complaint did not allege—as required by our Title VII disparate-treatment precedent—that dreadlocks are an immutable characteristic of black individuals.         11th Circuit Decision: Under our precedent, banning dreadlocks in the workplace under a race-neutral grooming policy—without more—does not constitute intentional race-based discrimination. First, dreadlocks are not, according to the EEOC’s proposed amended complaint, an immutable characteristic of black individuals. Second, the allegations in the complaint do not lend themselves to a reasonable inference that, in applying its grooming policy to dreadlocks, CMS discriminated against Ms. Jones because of her race.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 6, 2017  ...  4th Cir.:  Ward v. Commerce  ...   Donna M. Ward, a former Census Bureau employee, challenged her removal before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). After the MSPB upheld her removal, Ward filed suit in district court against the Department of Commerce and Census Bureau employees Stephen Taylor, Claudette Bennett, and William Savino (collectively, “Appellees”), raising federal and state claims arising out of her termination.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       December 5, 2017  ...  5th Cir.:  Phillips v. Caris Life Sciences  ...   Plaintiff-Appellant Kristin Phillips (“Phillips”) brought suit against Caris Life Sciences, Inc., and Miraca Life Sciences, Inc. (hereinafter “Caris”), alleging a hostile work environment, sex discrimination, and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.         Phillips was employed with Caris as a sales director from March 2010 until her termination on November 7, 2011.         Over the course of her employment with Caris, Phillips complained that she was sexually harassed by David Heddon (“Heddon”), a former co-worker. [...] In February 2011, Phillips alleges she became aware that Heddon was spreading rumors about a sexual relationship between Phillips and another co-worker. Phillips alleges that she complained to her supervisor, Scott Grybeck (“Grybeck”), shortly after becoming aware of the rumors Heddon was allegedly spreading.         In response to Phillips’s complaint, Grybeck sent an email to his sales team, admonishing them for spreading rumors and warning that any additional reports of similar behavior would result in disciplinary action in the form of a write-up. Grybeck also subsequently arranged a lunch meeting between himself, Heddon and Phillips to “clear the air,” after which Heddon apologized to Phillips and took responsibility for his action; Heddon did not make additional sexual advances towards or comments about Phillips.         Meanwhile, Phillips’s sales productivity had begun to decline, and she consistently failed to complete required administrative tasks in a timely manner. Consequently, Caris placed Phillips on a performance improvement plan (“PIP”) to remediate her drop in sales and failure to timely complete necessary administrative tasks. ][...]   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 30, 2017  ...  Fed. Cir.:  Morrison v. Navy  ...   DID NAVY TRICK HIM TO RETIRE BY EXERCISING "A LACK OF CANDOR" ?  ...   BACKGROUND:    John W. Morrison petitions for review of a decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB” or “Board”) relating to his retirement from a civilian position with the Department of the Navy. Because the Board’s ruling was not a “final order” or a “final decision” in his case, we dismiss Mr. Morrison’s petition for lack of jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(9); see also 5 U.S.C. § 7703(b)(1)(A).                 Mr. Morrison worked as a firefighter at the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut. Mr. Morrison’s position was designated as “Non-Critical Sensitive.” As a condition of his employment, he was required to maintain a security clearance. In August 2011, the Navy revoked Mr. Morrison’s eligibility for a security clearance, citing concerns regarding his personal finances. Mr. Morrison appealed the revocation to the Navy’s Personnel Security Appeals Board. The revocation was upheld based on Mr. Morrison’s history of financial delinquency and his continued debt of more than $36,000.         The Navy subsequently initiated removal proceedings for Mr. Morrison. It issued him a notice of proposed removal on March 28, 2012, based on his failure to maintain the requisite security clearance. Mr. Morrison pro- tested the proposed removal, but on July 13, 2012, Regional Fire Chief Stephan Cox wrote a letter finalizing the decision to remove him. In the letter, Regional Fire Chief Cox wrote: “I . . . find that the charge of ‘Denied Eligibility to Access Non-Critical Sensitive Areas’ is fully supported by the evidence and your removal is warranted and will be effected on 13 July 2012.”         Although Regional Fire Chief Cox signed the letter, it was not formally issued to Mr. Morrison at that time. Instead, District Fire Chief Thomas Clapsadle, who was to deliver the letter of decision, offered Mr. Morrison the option to retire preemptively, in lieu of the termination. Mr. Morrison had expressed concern that his retirement benefits would be jeopardized if he were fired, and he ch ose to retire effective as of July 13, 2012.         In reality, Mr. Morrison’s retirement benefits were never at risk due to his pending termination, as he would have received his retirement benefits regardless of whether he retired or was terminated. See 5 U.S.C. §§ 8312-8315 (identifying particular circumstances, not present here, in which a government employee may lose entitlement to retirement pay). After learning that his retirement benefits were not at risk, Mr. Morrison filed an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board, claiming that his retirement was involuntary, and thus he had, in effect, been unlawfully removed from his position.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 29, 2017  ...  FLRA:  Fraternal Order of Police v. Air Force  ...   Background     After a meeting with management, the grievant swore at one of his supervisors (the initial misconduct). The Agency sent the grievant a memorandum informing him that it was initiating an investigation into that misconduct, reassigning him to a limited-duty position, and temporarily revoking his authorization to carry a firearm by placing him on the Agency’s do-not-arm list. Approximately three months later, the Agency proposed to suspend the grievant. Around that time, the grievant engaged in some other misconduct. The Agency, considering both incidents of misconduct together, suspended the grievant for ten days. The grievant served the suspension roughly seven months after the initial misconduct. Shortly after the grievant served the suspension, the Agency reinstated his authorization to carry a firearm by removing him from the do-not-arm list.         The Union did not challenge the grievant’s suspension but filed a grievance alleging that the Agency violated the parties’ agreement and the instruction by placing the grievant on the do-not-arm list. The parties could not resolve the grievance, and the Union submitted the dispute to arbitration.         The Arbitrator found that the Agency had sole discretion to place the grievant on the do-not-arm list and, therefore, that its decision to do so was not subject to review. Accordingly, the Arbitrator addressed only whether the Agency had complied with the procedural requirements of the parties’ agreement and the instruction.         Before the Arbitrator, the Union argued that the Agency violated Article 54 of the parties’ agreement (Article 54) and § of the instruction. Article 54 requires the Agency to “promptly initiate[]” disciplinary actions,[2] and § requires the Agency to review an employee’s status on the do‑not‑arm list every 180 calendar days “to either reaffirm that [employee’s] status or take other appropriate action.”[3]         The Arbitrator concluded that the Agency violated Article 54 because it had developed the facts necessary to discipline the grievant within a few days of the initial misconduct, but had delayed proposing discipline until three months later. The Arbitrator also concluded that the Agency violated § by “fail[ing] to review” the grievant’s status on the do-not-arm list within 180 days of placing him on that list.[4] However, the Arbitrator found that neither of those violations directly resulted in the grievant losing pay. Specifically, she stated that although the grievant would have received eight hours of overtime pay per week in his normal position, any loss of pay resulted from his reassignment, not the Agency’s violations. Accordingly, the Arbitrator did not award backpay or attorney fees.         The Union also alleged, at arbitration, that the Agency violated § of the instruction. As relevant here, that section provides that the Agency may not deny an employee an assignment “solely because” it has temporarily revoked that employee’s authorization to carry a firearm.[5] The Arbitrator found that the Agency denied the grievant his normal assignment because, without authorization to carry a firearm, he was unqualified. The Arbitrator also observed that the Agency reassigned the grievant due to its investigation into the initial misconduct. Accordingly, the Arbitrator concluded that the Agency did not violate §         As a remedy for the Agency’s violations of Article 54 and §, the Arbitrator directed the Agency to comply, prospectively, with the parties’ agreement and the instruction.         The Union filed exceptions to the award, and the Agency filed an opposition.  ...   FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 29, 2017  ...  FLRA:  Federal Bureau of Prisons v. AFGE  ...   Background     The Agency operates a prison in the federal system. In 2009, the parties entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning augmentation. Augmentation is the process of assigning non-correctional-service employees to vacant correctional-service posts. Through augmentation, the Agency avoids having to fill vacant shifts with employees who would earn overtime. In 2015, the Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency was not following the augmentation procedures and a past practice. The parties were unable to resolve the grievance, and they submitted it to arbitration.         The issue before the Arbitrator was whether the Agency violated a past practice and the parties’ agreement by unilaterally changing how it augmented custodial posts with non-custodial employees.         The Union argued that the parties had established a past practice to use augmentation only during annual training, periods with a high volume of training, or when agreed to by the Union. The Union alleged that the Agency, by changing this past practice, also violated Articles 3 and 4 of the parties’ agreement that require the Agency to bargain before implementing a change in any personnel policies, practices, or conditions of employment.         The Union further alleged that the Agency violated Article 27 of the parties’ agreement that requires the Agency to lower inherent correctional hazards to the lowest level possible. Specifically, the Union contended that by improperly augmenting, the Agency was placing non-correctional staff in unfamiliar and dangerous positions on short notice, increasing the inherent hazards of the prison.         Finally, the Union argued that the Agency had violated Articles 16 and 18 of the parties’ agreement by inequitably distributing overtime. The Union argued that, by improperly augmenting, the Agency prevented employees from working those shifts as overtime shifts.         As a result of these alleged violations, the Union claimed that the Agency had committed multiple unjustified and unwarranted personnel actions and that the employees denied overtime shifts should get backpay as a remedy. The Union also requested attorney fees and costs.         The Agency argued that it has the discretion to direct the workforce and “to establish the use and implementation of the roster.”[3] The Agency also argued that the parties’ agreement as well as § 7106 of the Statute gave the Agency the authority to reassign employees.   ...   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 28, 2017  ...  COURT888 CIR:  Upshaw v. Progressive Insurance(Flo and Jamie)  ... On June 19, 1993, a motor vehicle driven by Alexander Alarcon struck Alma Upshaw’s car at an intersection in Columbus, Georgia. She died less than two hours after the crash in a local hospital.         Plaintiff alleges that Alarcon, though not listed as a party to this action, operated his vehicle negligently at the time of the accident.         Although the Complaint never explains Progressive’s role or indicates whether it insured either driver, Plaintiff’s Opposition does allege that the company insured Alma Upshaw.         On May 26, 1995, Alarcon sued Alma Upshaw’s estate and Alma Rae Upshaw Doleman, as executor of her mother’s estate, alleging that the decedent’s negligence had directly caused his own injuries.         The Complaint does not indicate the result of the Georgia tort action in Muscogee County Superior Court, but Plaintiff nonetheless included the pleading as part of the record.         Now, 24 years later, Upshaw has filed this action against Progressive. He rests part of his claim for relief, however ambiguous, on the Georgia wrongful-death statute.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 27, 2017  ...  10th Cir:  Sotunde v. Safeway  ...   BACKGROUND:    Safeway, a grocery chain, runs a Denver Distribution Center to receive and distribute the products it sells in its retail stores. The center includes warehouses for meat, perishables, frozen foods, produce, and grocery items. At the relevant times, Donald Grambusch was the Director of Distribution. The rest of the management chain consisted of (in descending order) Managers, Superintendents, and Supervisors.                 In October 2004, Grambusch hired Sotunde to work in the Produce Warehouse. In February 2005, Grambusch promoted Sotunde to Supervisor, also in the Produce Warehouse. While employed at Safeway, Sotunde earned a second bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and objectively improved the performance of the Produce Warehouse. Nevertheless, he was never promoted above Supervisor. Sotunde resigned from Safeway’s employment in May 2013.         After he resigned, Sotunde brought this suit under Title VII and § 1981. Detailing instances of preferential treatment of white employees, he claimed he was denied promotion because of race, color, and national origin discrimination; he was subjected to a racially hostile work environment; he was subjected to retaliation after he complained to Safeway about unfair treatment; and he was constructively discharged.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 20, 2017  ...  Fed Cir:  Salerno v. Interior  ...   BACKGROUND:    Mr. Salerno was employed as a Telecommunications Specialist with the BLM in Moreno Valley, California. On January 10, 2013, Mr. Salerno received a letter of reprimand, instructing that all work-related purchases must be made with his government purchase card and that he must receive prior authorization before making such purchases         Rick D. Salerno appeals the Final Decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB or Board) affirming the Department of the Interior’s decision to suspend him for 30 days from his employment with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 1 The suspension was based on Salerno’s allegedly improper use of a personal credit card for official purchases.         Mr. Salerno argues that the suspension was in retaliation for his having filed a whistleblowing disclosure to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). He also alleged other improprieties in connection with his suspension. The administrative judge (AJ) to whom the matter was assigned denied his request for witnesses or deposition evidence regarding matters other than the issue of his credit card use.   ...   Merit Systems Protection Board Decision:   (.pdf)   (.html)


☀       November 17, 2017  ...  MSPB:  Golla v. Chief Judge  ...   SOME PEOPLES EARS PERK UP WHEN THE HEAR "REVERSE DISCRIMINATION" ... I WAS PAID LESS THAN THE BLACK GUY !  ...   Francis Joseph Golla brought this Title VII race discrimination action against his former employer, the Office of the Chief Judge of Cook County, Illinois, and Cook County, Illinois, [...] (“Defendants”).    BACKGROUND:    Golla’s complaint alleged that the Office of the Chief Judge (“the Office”) had engaged in intentional reverse racial discrimination by paying Deotis Taylor, an African‐American male, a significantly higher salary than Golla, a white male, despite working in the same department and performing the same duties under essentially the same title.   ...   Merit Systems Protection Board Decision:   (.pdf)   (.html)


☀       November 16, 2017  ...  FLRA:  AFGE v. DVA (VHA)  ...   UNION: VA JUST PULLED A FAST ONE ON ITS SOCIAL WORKERS !  ...   1. Statement of the Case:    Arbitrator Daniel F. Altemus found that the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (Agency) did not violate a particular Agency letter and policy when it failed to promote an employee (the grievant) to a General Schedule (GS)-12 position.         The main question before us is whether the Arbitrator’s award is contrary to the Agency letter and policy. Because the Union does not demonstrate that the Arbitrator misinterpreted the letter or the policy, the answer is no.         2. Background and Arbitrator’s Award:    As relevant here, Title 5 of the U.S. Code had governed the Agency’s social-worker positions. Then the Agency converted those positions to “hybrid” positions, which are subject to the advancement and qualification standards of Title 38 of the U.S. Code, as well as certain provisions of Title 5 not applicable here.         After the conversion, the social-worker positions were subject to “new or revised qualifi[cation] standards.”         Because of this change, the Agency issued Human Resources Management Letter 05‑06-06 (the letter), which stated that employees in hybrid positions – including employees who occupied their positions before the positions became hybrids – would undergo a one-time, special “boarding” process in which a review board (the board) would determine whether those employees satisfied the new qualification standards.         The letter also stated that the board would recommend promoting an employee affected by the change if the board determined that the employee satisfied the new standards of “a grade that [was] higher than the current title, series, and grade held by the employee,” but that, if the board determined that an employee did not satisfy the new standards for the position or grade that he or she held, the employee would be “grandfathered into his [or her] current title, series, and grade” instead of being demoted.         The letter also made any promotions retroactive to 2006.         The grievant was specially boarded as a GS-11 social worker. Under the new qualification standards, GS-12 social-worker positions require an “advanced[-]practice license.”[6] The board found that the grievant was unqualified for promotion to a GS-12 because she did not have an advanced-practice license.         The Union then filed a grievance challenging the Agency’s failure to promote the grievant. The grievance was unresolved, and the parties submitted it to arbitration.   ...   FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 16, 2017  ...  FLRA:  Sarhan v. DOJ (Prisons)  ...   Sarhan worked as a physician assistant for the BOP from 1994 until June 2007, when the BOP terminated his employment.         Since that time, Sarhan has twice appealed his termination to the Merits Systems Protection Board (“MSPB” or “Board”), which first affirmed his termination and then dismissed his appeal as barred by res judicata. After each proceeding before the MSPB, Sarhan appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the final decisions of the MSPB.         In 2014 he filed the present complaint in federal district court, alleging that he had been discriminated and retaliated against because of his Arab ethnicity, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964[...], among other statutes.         The district court dismissed his complaint with prejudice on two main grounds. Here, he has appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 15, 2017  ...  2d Cir:  Eng v. New York City Police  ...   EQUAL PAY DISCRIMINATION IS HARD TO PROVE ... ESPECIALLY WHEN THE CLAIM MERELY WISHFUL THINKING.  ...   Plaintiff-appellant Mary Eng appeals the dismissal of her Equal Pay Act (“EPA”), 29 U.S.C. § 206(d), New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”), and New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) claims, as well as the district court’s denial of leave to amend her complaint for a second time. Eng argues on appeal that the district court erred because: (1) she adequately pled violations of the EPA, NYSHRL, and NYCHRL; (2) if her amended complaint was deficient, she should have been granted leave to amend a second time; and (3) the district court should have declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over her state law claims when it dismissed the federal claims. We assume the parties’ familiarity with the underlying facts, the procedural history, and the issues presented for review.         “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”         “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”         This standard “asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”         “A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.”         “To prove a violation of the EPA, a plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case of discrimination by showing: i) the employer pays different wages to employees of the opposite sex; ii) the employees perform equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility; and iii) the jobs are performed under similar working conditions.”         “[A] plaintiff need not demonstrate that her job is identical to a higher paid position, but only must show that the two positions are substantially equal in skill, effort, and responsibility.”         “To satisfy this standard, a plaintiff must establish that the jobs compared entail common duties or content, and do not simply overlap in titles or classifications.”         “Under the EPA, proof of the employerʹs discriminatory intent is not necessary for the plaintiff to prevail on her claim . . .         Thus, a prima facie showing gives rise to a presumption of discrimination.”   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 15, 2017  ...  D.C. Cir.:  Gill v. DOJ  ...   A decorated veteran and Pakistani immigrant, Kaiser Gill worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a special agent until 2006, when the Bureau revoked his security clearance after he conducted unauthorized searches of its Automated Case Support system.         Gill sought review of this decision with the Department of Justice’s Access Review Committee (ARC), where he admitted his misconduct and, claiming that the “risk of him engaging in similar misconduct . . . was miniscule,” asked that he be given “another opportunity to perform his duties as an FBI agent.”         Although the ARC recognized Gill’s remorse, it emphasized that his “admitted misconduct in accessing sensitive information for personal reasons . . . raise[d] straightforward concerns regarding his ability to safeguard classified information.” Citing applicable guidelines requiring that any doubt be resolved in favor of national security, the ARC affirmed the FBI’s revocation of Gill’s security clearance.                 Gill filed a six-count complaint against the FBI and Department of Justice in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Gill contended that the FBI violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by introducing evidence in the ARC hearings that it obtained through undisclosed FISA- authorized surveillance (Count Three). See 50 U.S.C. § 1806(c) (requiring disclosure of “any information obtained . . . pursuant to the authority of this subchapter” when used as evidence in certain proceedings). Gill also alleged that his due process rights were infringed by the FISA violation (Count Two), by the fact that it took the ARC five years to issue its decision (Count Six), and by the ARC’s treatment in that decision of his naturalized family members as “foreign influence[s]” (Count Four). Finally, Gill contended that the government denied him equal protection both by treating his family members as foreign influences (Count Five) and by treating him, a Muslim, differently from non-Muslims guilty of similar misconduct (Count One).   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 14, 2017  ...  Fed. Cir.:  Bowe-Connor v. DVA  ...   Ms. Bowe-Connor worked as a clinical pharmacist in the inpatient pharmacy at the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Effective May 17, 2013, the agency removed her from her position based upon three charges:         (1) causing delay in patients receiving medications; (2) conduct unbecoming; and (3) disrespectful conduct.         Ms. Bowe-Connor appealed her removal to the Board. Following a hearing, the administrative judge (“AJ”) to whom the appealed was assigned issued an initial decision sustaining the VA’s action. Ms. Bowe-Connor timely petitioned the Board for review.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 14, 2017  ...  Fed. Cir.:  Standley v. MSPB  ...   Mr. Standley works as a general engineer in the Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) National Nuclear Security Administration (“NNSA”), Office of Nuclear Detonation Detection (“NDD”).         Mr. Standley’s responsibilities include work on instrumented payloads that the NNSA contributes to a Department of Defense (“DOD”) system of nuclear detonation detection.         In September 2014, the DOE advertised a Director position in the NDD. Id. The Deputy Director of the NDD announced that current employees in the office would not be considered for the Director posting, yet Mr. Standley still submitted his application for the position.         He was referred to the hiring manager for further consideration, but was ultimately not selected. The position was canceled, re-posted in March 2015, and eventually awarded to an office colleague of Mr. Standley’s.         In November 2014, Mr. Standley filed a grievance with the DOE regarding his non-selection for the Director position, which was denied.         In February 2015, Mr. Standley then filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel (“OSC”), alleging he was not allowed to compete for the Director position.         However, the OSC investigated, terminated, and closed Mr. Standley’s file without taking action in September 2015, notifying him of his right to appeal to the MSPB.         Mr. Standley timely filed an IRA appeal with the MSPB, alleging, inter alia, that the DOE retaliated against him, thereby violating 5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(8)(A) and (b)(9)(D) of the Whistleblower Protection Act (“WPA”) [...].   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 9, 2017  ...  CofAA:  Silverman v. Trinity Village  ...   A GOOD READ:   UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS DENIAL, APPEAL & CONSIDERATION CASE.  ...   Appellant was employed by Trinity Village as an administrator for assisted living prior to her termination. After she applied for unemployment-compensation benefits, Trinity Village filed a statement that appellant had been discharged for insubordination, specifically stating the following:                 1. Ms. Silverman not only failed to promptly initiate the protocols and actions necessary to address the deficiencies from the May 2–4, 2016 Assisted Living survey, but on 6/27/2016 refused to complete and sign the plan of correction. This is the Administrator’s responsibility.         2. As Assisted Living Administrator, it is Ms. Silverman’s responsibility to review, monitor, and utilize her departmental financial and budget reports as a primary tool in the management of her area. On 6/22/2016 she stated to me that they did not make sense to her and did not tell her anything, so she puts them straight in the shredder. I have personally instructed her in the interpretation and use of these reports on numerous occasions.         3. Ms. Silverman informed at least one staff member of the fiscal year end unaudited net income of Trinity Village. It was made clear by me in the staff meeting with only department managers, during which she was present that this was not to be repeated outside the meeting. Ms. Silverman also informed the same staff member as well as at least one additional staff member that she had a meeting with another manager where the manager shook her finger in her face. This is a confidential personnel issue that should not have been discussed.         4. Ms. Silverman exhibited anger and even hostility to a nurse aide in her department when discussing a possible worker’s compensation injury. She was confrontational and exhibited a lack of good judgment in dealing with a sensitive issue.         5. With no proof, Ms. Silverman has stated to me and at least one other employee that another Trinity Department Manager “slashed her tires.” This is a malicious statement with no substantiation.         6. Ms. Silverman frequently handles herself in an argumentative, accusatory, unprofessional manner with fellow managers as well as the assisted living staff, thus creating an unacceptable and frequently hostile environment. Appellant also filed a statement. In her statement, appellant denied that she was fired for insubordination.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 8, 2017  ...  10th Cir:  Mitchell v. Kansas  ...   BECAUSE I'M BLACK !  ...   Mr. Mitchell, who is African-American, worked as a bus driver for the Kansas City Kansas School District. During his tenure, he was the subject of complaints and reprimands for a variety of infractions, including falsely reporting that he had checked his bus for a missing student and, upon discovering that the student was on his bus, failing to immediately report that fact to his dispatcher. During another incident, which occurred on October 30, 2015, Mr. Mitchell’s girlfriend was involved in an auto accident with a bus driver on school-district property. Mr. Mitchell was not present, but he arrived on scene and allegedly argued and interfered with another employee who was investigating the accident. Eventually, Mr. Mitchell’s supervisor called the police, who removed Mr. Mitchell from the property.         On November 5, 2015, Mr. Mitchell and his sister met with officials from the school district to discuss the October 30 incident. The parties dispute what transpired during the meeting, but on December 9, Mr. Mitchell filed an EEOC charge, citing the October 30 incident and alleging race discrimination and retaliation. The school district then notified Mr. Mitchell on December 21 that he was recommended for termination due to nine prior instances of inappropriate conduct or policy violations, including exhibiting aggressive behavior toward other employees. On January 26, 2016, the school board unanimously approved Mr. Mitchell’s termination, and on February 5, 2016, he filed a second EEOC charge alleging retaliation. Later, the board upheld Mr. Mitchell’s termination, and upon receiving a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, he initiated this action, claiming race discrimination and retaliation.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

☀       November 07, 2017  ...  DcDc:  Stewart v. Bowser  ...   Plaintiff in this case alleges that her former employer, the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (“OHR”), discriminated against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”). Presently before the Court is Defendants’ [5] Motion to Dismiss the Complaint. Upon consideration of the pleadings, 1 the relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court will GRANT-IN-PART and DENY-IN-PART Defendants’ motion.         BACKGROUND;   Plaintiff Georgia A. Stewart, an African American female, was an employee of the OHR from 1967 to 2016. In 2013, Plaintiff filed a charge with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) alleging that, despite her many years of distinguished service, the OHR had begun to discriminate against her on the basis of her age. The discriminatory acts Plaintiff claims her supervisors subjected her to include hiring and firing employees in Plaintiff’s department without allowing her any input in the decision, refusing to allow the unit she supervised to have a full staff, depriving that unit of proper tools and equipment, assigning work within the unit without notice to or input from Plaintiff, and giving preferential treatment to other, younger, employees in her department. Plaintiff was terminated on September 30, 2016 and allegedly told she had 15 minutes to exit the building. Plaintiff alleges that when she asked her supervisor why she was firing her, the supervisor responded “Because I can.”         Plaintiff asserted three causes of action in her Complaint: (1 )reprisal under Title VII, (2) age discrimination under the ADEA, and (3) intentional infliction of emotional distress.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


☀       November 06, 2017  ...  COFA:  Greene v. ADPH  ...   Greene worked for the ADPH from 2003 through 2014, most recently as a Health Insurance Assistant (“HIA”). Greene was the lone male HIA on the ADPH staff and was the only male HIA to ever work for the Children’s Health Insurance Program in Alabama (administered by the ADPH). Greene received middling performance reviews despite his production volume exceeding that of his fellow female HIAs, and he was disciplined for calling in sick during mandatory Saturday work sessions while female employees were granted liberal leave.      Based on this, Greene filed a gender discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) by fax. Greene called the EEOC office from his work telephone to confirm receipt of the fax. Less than two hours later, Greene was disciplined for allegedly using profanity on a separate work telephone call that he claims he did not make.      Greene then filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964[...] alleging gender discrimination in his performance reviews and missed-work discipline as well as retaliation for the telephone profanity discipline.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)



☀       November 2, 2017  ...  5th Cir:  Atkins v. S.C.H.S.  ...   WAS SHE THE OPRAH WINFREY OF VIAGRA ?  ...   Atkins was hired by SCHS, a nonprofit organization that provides medications to patients with limited financial means. Her job duties included ordering free prescriptions for income-qualifying patients through SCHS’s Patient Assistance Program’s (PAP) online portal.         Atkins was terminated for the first time in March 2008 after allegations of misconduct. She subsequently filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC alleging discrimination based on race.         Following settlement discussions with SCHS, she was reinstated. Atkins alleges, however, that SCHS did not fully comply with their reinstatement agreement after she returned to work. In response, she filed a second charge with the EEOC in which she alleged that SCHS’s failure to abide by this agreement was retaliation for her first EEOC charge in 2008. Atkins’s supervisors at SCHS became aware of this second charge no later than July 2009. On early October 2009, Atkins also filed an internal grievance directly with SCHS. In mid-November 2009, she was transferred to a different jobsite within the organization.         Then, an investigation by SCHS’s human resources department uncovered evidence that Atkins had requested numerous Viagra shipments through the PAP online portal for friends and family members.         None of these shipments were supported by prescriptions in their patient files, and Atkins often picked up the free medication herself. Several days later Atkins’s employment was terminated.         The following day, SCHS filed a criminal complaint, and the State of Louisiana subsequently instituted criminal prosecution against Atkins.         Atkins filed the instant lawsuit alleging, inter alia, that SCHS and Senegal terminated her in violation of Title VII as retaliation for filing a charge with the EEOC.  ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


☀       November 01, 2017  ...  CADC:  Bloomgarden v. DOJ  ...   THIS IS A STRANGE, ODD, CURIOUS AND MYSTERIOUS CASE.  ...   Over two decades ago, the Department of Justice sent a proposed termination letter to one of its Assistant United States Attorneys (“the Assistant”) working in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY). The letter alleged a series of professional inadequacies. Appellant Bloomgarden, serving a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, sought a copy of that letter under FOIA.         The Assistant served as lead prosecutor in an investigation of a series of crimes committed by Appellant, leading to several convictions in New York and California.1 After Appellant’s FOIA suit, most of the approximately 3,600 pages of exhibits supporting the proposed termination letter were turned over to Appellant – but not the letter itself. The Appellant hopes that the content of the letter will somehow help him in contesting his sentence. The government declined to release the letter pursuant to Exemption 6 of FOIA, which can protect personal privacy. The district court, balancing the public interest against the Assistant’s privacy interest, determined that the latter clearly outweighed the former and therefore granted summary judgment for the government.         We affirm.         We also reject Appellant’s request that the judgment be modified.   ...   COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)