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EEOC v. Peoplemark ... ANOTHER BIG LOSS FOR EEOC: ORDERED TO PAY $751,942.48. ... The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("Commission") filed a complaint against Peoplemark, alleging that Peoplemark had a blanket, companywide policy of denying employment opportunities to persons with felony records and that this companywide policy had a disparate impact on African Americans. As it turned out, the alleged companywide policy did not exist. Eventually, the Commission dismissed its claim through joint motion of the parties. Peoplemark moved for costs and attorney's and expert fees. The district court awarded Peoplemark fees and costs totaling $751,942.48. This award included attorney's fees from October 1, 2009, through the end of the litigation, finding that as of October 1 the Commission's claim was unreasonable to maintain. The award also included all of Peoplemark's expert fees. The Commission appeals the district court decision and argues that the district court abused its discretion when it imposed attorney's and expert fees. ...
Here, EEOC Appeals To 6thCir:
COURT DECISION |
| 09-20: 11thCir: Smith v. Metropolotan ... SEXUAL HARASSMENT ... SHE TESTIFIED THAT HER CO-WORKER HUGGED HER, GRABBED HER BUTT, SQUEEZED IT, AND THEN GRABBED HER BREASTS. ... Beginning on May 1, 2006, Metropolitan Security Services, Inc. employed Lichelle Smith as a receptionist and security guard at the SunGuard Building in Smyrna, Georgia. Smith had continuously worked as a receptionist and security guard in the SunGuard Building since 1999, but worked for a variety of security contractors throughout that time, the last of which was Metropolitan. As part of the transition from the previous security contractor, Metropolitan hired Smith and her supervisor, Felix Holliday, to remain in their positions at the SunGuard Building as employees of Metropolitan. On July 5, 2006, Dan Millhouse, Metropolitan's general manager, arrived at the SunGuard Building; fired Smith's supervisor, Holliday; and installed Michael Garrett as Smith's new supervisor. At trial, Smith testified that later that day, Donald Porter, who was also an employee of Metropolitan, approached and hugged her in the break room because they were both ostensibly upset by Holliday's termination. Smith testified that while Porter was hugging her, he grabbed her butt, squeezed it, and then proceeded 2 to grab her breasts and pinch her nipples as she was pushing him away. At trial, Porter denied all of these claims. Smith testified that she immediately told her new supervisor, Michael Garrett, about the incident with Smith, and that he promised he would "take care of it." (Dkt. 95 at 103.) However, Garrett testified that Smith never reported the incident with Porter. Smith testified that two days after the incident with Porter and the conversation with Garrett, Garrett called her into his office at the end of her shift and informed her she had been fired.1 Garrett also contests this version of events, and instead contends that he simply told Smith she was being reassigned and to report to Metropolitan Human Resources at the beginning of her next shift to receive her new assignment. Garrett testified that he learned about Smith's pending reassignment from Metropolitan's general manager, Dan Millhouse, on the morning of his first day at the SunGuard Building, which was also the morning of the alleged attack. Garrett further testified that he did not have the authority to fire Smith, and that hiring and firing decisions were made by others above him at Metropolitan. Following these events, Smith filed a lawsuit against Metropolitan alleging five claims: (1) a Title VII retaliation claim; (2) a Title VII sexual harassment claim; (3) a Georgia state law battery claim; (4) a Georgia state law intentional infliction of emotional distress claim; and (5) a Georgia state law negligent hiring claim. ... Here, Smith Appeals To 11thCir: COURT DECISION |
| 09-20: CA2/2: ThePeople v. Lee ... A WOMAN'S WORST NIGHTMARE ... A NIGHTIME HOME-BURGLARISING SERIAL RAPIST ON THE LOOSE ... Robert Charles Lee (appellant) was convicted by jury of 35 counts in connection with attacks on 10 women over a period of nearly nine years. He was sentenced to multiple life terms and a separate aggregate determinate term in state prison. On appeal, he claims the trial court erred in imposing multiple consecutive indeterminate terms of 25 years to life in violation of the Penal Code section 667.611 prohibition against consecutive sentences for multiple sexual offenses committed against the same victim on a single occasion. He also contends his constitutional rights under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution were violated by his inability to confront and cross- examine witnesses who performed genetic testing, and that the evidence on certain counts was legally insufficient to sustain conviction. ... Here, Lee Appeals To CA2/2: CAUTION The Individual Accounts Are Extremely Disturbing, Proceed With Caution. COURT DECISION |
| 09-19: MSPB: Labor v. Avery ... SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A BUNCH OF JUDGES FIGHT BACK AGAINST THEIR SEQUESTER FURLOUGHS. ... The respondents are 19 administrative law judges (ALJs) employed in the Office of the ALJ (OALJ), Office of Adjudication, Office of the Secretary of Labor (OSec). By complaint filed on March 18, 2013, the petitioner sought authorization under 5 U.S.C. § 7521 to furlough the respondents for 5.5 days because of a funding shortfall engendered by President Obama's March 1, 2013 Sequestration Order. After a hearing, the administrative law judge found that the petitioner showed good cause to furlough the respondents for 4 days (2 days for part-time ALJs). The administrative law judge found that, to establish good cause to furlough the respondents under 5 U.S.C. § 7521, the petitioner had to prove by preponderant evidence that: (1) The proposed furlough related to a management plight caused by financial restrictions; (2) the proposed furlough was implemented in accordance with law and consistent with Office of Personnel Management (OPM) furlough guidance; (3) ALJs were treated like other employees in the agency; and (4) the proposed action was not predicated on grounds which improperly interfere with the ALJs' performance of judicial functions. The administrative law judge found that the petitioner met its burden except that it failed to show that ALJs were treated like other employees in the agency. He found that the petitioner engaged in disparate treatment by proposing to suspend the respondents for a greater length of time than it was furloughing other employees whose positions were funded from the same budget account, account number 012-25-0165. He found that employees in OSec were furloughed for an average of 4 days and that the petitioner failed to show good cause to furlough the respondents for more than the average. The petitioner petitions for review of the initial decision and argues, inter alia, that the decision to reduce the proposed furlough to 4 days misapprehends the special status afforded to ALJs and results in an "unprecedented degree of interference with an agency's ability to structure a furlough." The respondents cross petition for review and argue, inter alia, that the administrative law judge's methodology for calculating that the furlough should be 4 days was flawed. The respondents further assert that the administrative law judge erred by failing to find that ALJs are a protected class, by failing to consider that the petitioner's fiscal decisions had a disparate impact on the respondents, and by failing to consider respondents' argument that the petitioner's decision interferes with their qualified judicial independence. The respondents also challenge the administrative law judge's discovery rulings. ... Here, Labor Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
| 09-19: MSPB: Chandler v. Treasury ... A GS-14 SENIOR TAX ANALYST FOR IRS APPEALED THE AGENCY'S DECISION TO FURLOUGH HER FOR 5 TO 7 DAYS. ... The appellant, a GS-14 Senior Tax Analyst for the agency's Internal Revenue Service (IRS), appealed the agency's decision to furlough her for 5 to 7 days. The appellant served the agency a number of discovery requests and the agency filed a motion for a protective order to protect itself from what it described as the "harassment, annoyance, undue burden and expense" of responding to the requests. The agency explained that "the vast majority of the information sought" by the appellant was "overly burdensome, irrelevant, and not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence," and that the requests sought information "related to management's discretionary budgetary determinations." The agency specifically challenged requests for documents 1-7 and 9-16. The agency did not raise any specific objections to the appellant's interrogatories and requests for admissions, and the administrative judge limited her certified rulings to the request for documents. The appellant responded in opposition to the agency's motion. During an in-person status conference with the parties, the administrative judge informed them of her rulings on the pending discovery matters. The appellant moved for an interlocutory appeal, and the administrative judge granted the motion. The National Treasury Employees Union moved to intervene or file an amicus brief, but the administrative judge reserved her ruling on the matter for after the Board's ruling on the interlocutory appeal. After the administrative judge certified her rulings as an interlocutory appeal, the appellant moved to file briefs on the interlocutory appeal, and the American Federation of Government Employees moved to file an amicus brief regarding the interlocutory appeal. We have considered these requests, but in the interest of expediting this proceeding, we DENY them without prejudice. explaining all of her rulings and certifying her rulings for interlocutory review. v She found that her discovery rulings involved an important question of law or policy about which there was a substantial ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate ruling would materially advance the completion of the proceeding, or the denial of an immediate ruling would cause undue harm to a party. Id. at 7. She further found that the issue presented is of such importance to the appeal that it required the Board's immediate attention. Pursuant to 5 C.F.R. § 1201.93(c), the administrative judge exercised her authority to stay all further proceedings while the interlocutory was pending before the Board. ... Here, Chandler Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
| 09-18: MSPB: Francis v. AirForce ... TERMINATED FOR FAILURE TO MAKE SATISFACTORY PROGRESS IN THE TRAINING PROGRAM. - WAS IT REALLY RETALIATION ? ... Effective September 14, 2009, the appellant received an excepted service appointment in the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) as a Contract Specialist. The FCIP appointment was intended to continue for two years unless extended for an additional year. Fourteen months later on November 19, 2010, the agency terminated the appellant for failure to make satisfactory progress in the training program. The appellant filed a chapter 75 appeal with the Board, but later requested that her appeal be treated as an IRA appeal. She alleged that the agency terminated her in reprisal for disclosing to the Director of Business Operations (Director) that the agency violated 5 U.S.C. §§ 4103 and 4118, Executive Order 11,348, and Department of Defense (DOD) policies in failing to properly update and maintain training records and in not training interns in accordance with the agency's Intern Training Plan (ITP)/template. The appellant withdrew her request for a hearing. Based on the written record, the administrative judge denied corrective action under the WPA. The appellant has filed a petition for review of the initial decision that denied corrective action under the WhistleblowerProtection Act (WPA) on the ground that the appellant failed to prove that she made a protected disclosure. ... Here, Francis Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
Davis v. Postal ... THIS IS ANOTHER RESTORATION TO DUTY CASE.
... MSPB Board Member, Mark A. Robbins: (In Dissent) The majority finds that the agency did not conduct an adequate search for available tasks within the appellant's medical restrictions and orders it to conduct a search "retroactive to April 2009," but it is unclear just how the agency is to determine what was "available" during the relevant time. Under Latham, the threshold and potentially dispositive inquiry is whether the tasks that made up a partially-recovered employee's "former modified assignment" were "still being performed by others" after the agency terminated the assignment. Here, by contrast, there is no modified assignment to be examined. Instead there is nothing more than some hypothetical set of tasks within the appellant's medical restrictions that, depending on other factors that the majority does not delineate, the agency might be deemed to have been obligated to assign to her. In my view, the Board's authority in a restoration case does not extend to deciding whether agency management should create an assignment for an out-of-work injured employee that does not comprise the essential functions of an established position and that consists of tasks that either no one is performing or that must be taken away from others in order to provide work for the injured employee. ...
Here, Davis Appeals The Decision:
King v. OPM ... REVERSED ... DO YOU THINK THAT OPM WAS RIGHT TO ORDER HER TO REPAY $41,939 ANNUITY OVERPAYMENT ? ... OPM determined that Diana was Don's survivor and that the money paid to Kathryn was an overpayment. As a result, it sought to recover $41,939.13 from Kathryn. Kathryn, through her representative, did not dispute that she received annuity payments, but she challenged OPM's effort to recover the money on the basis that she had transferred the monies received to Diana. Kathryn submitted court documents in support of her assertion that the transfer of funds occurred pursuant to court order, and she argued that OPM should seek refund of the overpayment from Diana. After treating Kathryn's sub- missions as a request for reconsideration, OPM affirmed its overpayment decision and further determined that collection of the $41,939.13 would not cause Kathryn financial hardship. Kathryn appealed OPM's decision to the Board. On March 24, 2009, an Administrative Judge issued an initial decision affirming OPM's findings regarding the over- payment because Kathryn did not meet the definition of the term "widow" under the Civil Service Retirement Act, 5 U.S.C. § 8341(A)(1), and had not proved by substantial evidence that she was entitled to waiver for the overpay- ment. ...
Here, King Appeals To FedCir:
COURT DECISION |
U.S. v. Freeman ... IN NOVEMBER 2005, THE FBI BEGAN WIRE INTERCEPTS OF CELLULAR TELEPHONES OF SEVERAL INDIVIDUALS INCLUDING A PHONE USED BY THE DEFENDANT. ... In November 2005, as part of a separate drug investigation, the FBI began wire intercepts of cellular telephones of several individuals pursuant to Title III of the Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510-22, including a phone used by Roy West, Freeman's co-defendant in this case. West was eventually convicted of paying Freeman to murder Leonard Day. The calls revealed that Day, who was wanted for murder in Detroit, had stolen about $100,000 in cash, $250,000 in jewelry, a gun, and car keys from West while hiding out at West's Ohio home. Immediately after the theft, West began to search for Day. Day's cousin, whose phone was also wiretapped, suggested to West that Day may have gone to the Greyhound bus station near West's home in Akron, Ohio, in order to return to Detroit. West offered to pay $1,000 to whoever went to the bus station to find Day. He suggested that that person take a "heater" because there was "nothing to talk about." The FBI, fearing that Day's life was in danger based on the phone intercepts, similarly searched for Day at the bus station. No one, however, located Day. West continued to look for Day. The day after the theft, West learned from another of Day's cousins that Day had returned to Detroit. West and other co-defendants gathered bulletproof vests and firearms in preparation for a manhunt of Day. The FBI recorded West telling one co-defendant, Christopher Scott, to "[g]et them pipes ready" and "grab up a whole bunch more things." The FBI believed these were references to firearms. Once in Detroit, West threatened Day's family, Day's girlfriend, Kanisha Crawford, and Crawford's family members in an attempt to locate Day. On the evening of November 11, 2005, West and his associates spotted Crawford outside a Days Inn in Detroit where Crawford and Day were staying. They tried to approach Crawford, but she escaped into a nearby CVS, and the police were called. West and his associates were arrested, but no charges were filed. West's search for Day continued with the assistance of Scott and Freeman. Intercepted phone calls revealed that Freeman, who already had a personal relationship with Day's cousins, was "spying" on Day's family in order to determine Day's location. At one point, West paid members of Day's family to recover some of his jewelry. Freeman refused to convey this money to the family himself, afraid that the Day family would recognize his connection to West: "But how you gonna get it through . . . then you gonna blow our cover?" Freeman began to close in on Day. ...
Here, Freeman Appeals To 6thCir:
COURT DECISION |
Slingland v. Postal ... THEY TERMINATED THE POSTMASTER BECAUSE SHE IMPROPERLY ISSUED MONEY ORDERS TO HERSELF. ... Cheryl A. Slingland appeals the dismissal by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania of her employment discrimination action against her former employer, the United States Postal Service. For the reasons that follow, we will affirm. Cheryl A. Slingland was employed as a postmaster from September 1988 until January 2011. According to the Postal Service, it terminated her employment due to problems with her performance and because she had improperly issued money orders to herself. Slingland, who claims to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of prior military service, contends that any problems with her job performance resulted from an increase in her workload that exacerbated her condition. She also alleges that she was harassed by her male co-workers, that younger workers were favored over older workers when two Postal Service facilities were consolidated, and that the reasons the Postal Service gave for her termination were pretextual. Slingland filed an Equal Employment Opportunity ("EEO") complaint with the EEO office of the Postal Service on February 1, 2011, challenging its decision to terminate her employment and also asserting claims of discrimination based on age, sex, and disability, and a claim of retaliation for an earlier charge of discrimination she had filed. Ten days later, she also filed an appeal of her termination with the Merit Systems Protection Board ("MSPB"). The MSPB promptly dismissed that appeal without prejudice because she had already filed her complaint with the EEO office of the Postal Service. The Postal Service issued a final agency decision in June 2011, finding no discrimination and dismissing Slingland's EEO claims. Slingland appealed that decision to the MSPB, but, before it ruled on the matter, she sent it a letter expressing her wish to voluntarily withdraw her appeal, so that she could pursue her claims in federal court. ...
Here, Slingland Appeals To 3rdCir:
COURT DECISION |
Leija v. DVA ... THIS IS ONE OF THE STRANGEST REMOVAL FOR "FAILURE TO ACCEPT A DIRECTED REASSIGNMENT" CASES EVER ! |
Hortencia Leija was employed as a Diagnostic Radiological Technologist at the GS-9 level for the VA. In 2008, she injured her left shoulder, and the next year she hurt her right one. The Office of Workers'Compensation Programs ("OWCP") found her injuries to be work-related and compensable. After two periods of approved medical leave, lasting approximately four months and six months, Ms. Leija returned to work fulltime in October 2009. Because of her shoulder injuries, her physician imposed certain medically-necessary restrictions on her activities at work. Due to those limitations, the VA offered Ms. Leija-and she accepted-a series of restricted duty jobs in 2010 that were commensurate with her physical capabilities. Both Ms. Leija and her direct supervisor, Mr. Long, believed that she was performing the duties of a Medical Support Assistant at the GS-4 level by August 2010.
In December 2010, the VA mailed Ms. Leija a formal offer of permanent reassignment as a Medical Support Assistant with pay retained from the GS-9 level. In its letter, the VA informed her that it could ask the OWCP for a suitability determination of the offer if she refused. It further explained that, if the OWCP found the new position suitable and she continued to refuse the offer, her workers compensation benefits might be terminated and she might face "administrative action." The VA also directed Ms. Leija to complete anenclosed "Acceptance/Declination Statement" ("ADS") form by December 28, 2010. That form provided two options: "voluntarily accept" the offered Medical Support Assistant position or "decline" it.
Ms. Leija did not return the ADS form to the VA. However, according to both her and Mr. Long, she continued working in her "light duty assignment that was comprised of duties of the Medical Support Assistant position."
Despite Ms. Leija's failure to return the ADS form, the VA "issued a Standard Form 52" to officially change her employment "from the Diagnostic Radiological Technician position to the Medical Support Assistant position," while "includ[ing] retained pay." The VA also referred its offer to the OWCP for a suitability determination.
On February 14, 2011, the OWCP informed Ms. Leija that it believed the VA's offer was suitable and instructed her that she had "30 days to accept the position or provide a valid reason for not accepting it." Ms. Leija provided a timely response, but the OWCP did not find it "sufficient." On April 18, 2011, the office informed Ms. Leija that her workers-compensation benefits would be terminated"based on her refusal of an offer of suitable work." H.L., & Dep't of Veterans Affairs, S. Tex. Health Care Sys., 2012 WL 8595448 at *2 (E.C.A.B. 2012).
The VA was notified of the OWCP's decision to terminate her benefits.
Three days prior to the OWCP's decision, on April 15, 2011, Ms. Leija's representative, Mr. Rogers, mailed the VA a letter indicating that she declined the VA's December 2010 offer. In hisletter, Mr. Rogersexplained that several attempts to discuss the offer with VA representatives failed. Despite those unsuccessful attempts at negotiation, he asserted that Ms. Leija was "back to work" and "willing to accept [a] suitable job as applicable to her current job description." He further argued that Ms. Leija was capable of performing the job duties of a Radiological Technologist with accommodations similar to what other technologists were receiving and that she would be able to return to "full capacity" in the future after physical therapy. To that end, he asked that "she be allowed to continue therapy while working in an accommodated position" andposited that "pay[ing] the difference in salary at a GS-4 level rather [than] hav[ing] Ms. Leija work in her job field is a waste of government spending." Mr. Rogers concluded his letter with a request that the VA "revisit the job offer and reoffer one that is compatible to her current job functions that will benefit the employee, patient[s], and [the VA] Imaging Service."
In response to Mr. Rogers's letter, the head of Imaging Services "approved a request to Human Resources" on April 18, 2011, "that [Ms. Leija] be terminated." ...
Leija Appeals To FedCir:
| 09-12: MSPB: Kolenc v. Homeland ... THE FDA REMOVED HIM FOR WILLFUL MISUSE OF A GOVERNMENT OWNED VEHICLE ... The agency removed the appellant from his Consumer Safety Officer position with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on four charges: (1) willful misuse of a government owned vehicle; (2) misuse of a government gas card; (3) failure to provide accurate time and attendance information; and (4) failure to follow instructions. The appellant filed a Board appeal of his removal. After conducting a hearing, the administrative judge reversed the removal on July 13, 2012, finding that the agency violated the appellant's due process rights because the deciding official considered ex parte information that constituted new and material evidence. The administrative judge further ordered the agency to provide interim relief as of the date of the initial decision and until the decision of the Board becomes final. The agency filed a petition for review and submitted a certification of interim relief averring that it had placed the appellant in an interim position effective August 17, 2012. The agency has filed a petition for review of the initial decision that reversed its action removing the appellant from his position on the basis that the agency violated the appellant's due process rights. The appellant moved to dismiss the agency's petition for failure to comply with the interim relief order. ... Here, Homeland Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
Dixon v. Houk ... MURDER WAS THE CASE THAT THEY GAVE ME. ... Archie Dixon and his accomplice, Timothy Hoffner, were friends with Christopher Hammer. In 1993, Dixon and Hoffner beat Hammer, tied him to a bed, stole the contents of his wallet and his automobile, and then drove him into a remote area and buried him alive. One month into the ensuing investigation, Hoffner led police to Hammer's body and Dixon provided a tape-recorded account of the kidnaping, robbery, and murder. Dixon was indicted for aggravated murder, kidnaping, and aggravated robbery. At trial, the defense presented no evidence and cross-examined only three of the prosecution's 15 witnesses. The jury convicted Dixon on all charges and recommended the death penalty, which the court imposed. Dixon appealed his conviction to the Ohio Court of Appeals and, while that appeal was pending, he filed a post-conviction petition with the trial court, arguing ineffective assistance of counsel. The latter was denied, and Dixon appealed that decision to the Ohio Court of Appeals. ... On review, the Supreme Court reversed our ruling, see Bobby v. Dixon, 132 S. Ct. 26 (2011), and we must now review his remaining claims for ineffective assistance of counsel, improper jury instruction, and the exclusion of certain mitigating evidence at his penalty hearing. ... Here, Dixon Appeals To 6thCir:
COURT DECISION |
| 09-12: MSPB: Whittacre v. OPM ... OPM INFORMED HM THAT HE HAD RECEIVED AN OVERPAYMENT OF $7,690.23. ... The appellant began his federal service as a Criminal Investigator with the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on January 9, 2005. During his civilian service, he was called to active military duty, and HHS placed him in a leave without pay (LWOP) status for the period from June 12, 2007, through January 5, 2008. The appellant returned to his civilian position on January 6, 2008, but was thereafter recalled to active military duty, and HHS again placed him in an LWOP status, effective February 3, 2008. While on this second period of military LWOP, the appellant applied for disability retirement under the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS), and HHS separated him from service based on disability retirement effective August 30, 2008, with his last day in pay status being February 1, 2008. OPM commenced the appellant's FERS interim disability retirement annuity payments effective February 2, 2008. After making its final determination as to the amount of the annuity to which the appellant was entitled, OPM informed the appellant that he had received an overpayment of $7,690.23 in interim annuity payments for the period of February 2, 2008, through May 30, 2009, and that it intended to offset his future annuity payments by $213.61 per month for a period of 36 months in order to recoup the overpayment. On the appellant's request for reconsideration, OPM affirmed its finding of the overpayment. ... Here, Whittacre Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
O'Donnell v. Agriculture ... DELIBERATE OR MALICIOUS REFUSAL TO COMPLY WITH RULES, REGULATIONS, WRITTEN PROCEDURES, OR PROPER SUPERVISORY INSTRUCTIONS.
... In the spring of 2005, at an agency-sponsored event, the appellant met a landowner who expressed interest in converting some of his property into wetland. IAF, Tab 8, Subtab A at 33. The appellant inspected the proposed site, conducted some research, and determined that the site was eligible for enrollment under the agency's Conservation Reserve Program. Id. The landowner submitted an application to the agency's local Farm Service Agency (FSA) committee, which approved the application on November 21, 2005. The landowner began work on the project shortly thereafter. However, the appellant's supervisor disagreed with the appellant's eligibility determination. On January 9, 2006, he explained the reasons for his disagreement and directed the appellant to inform the FSA that NRCS finds the project not feasible and will not support it. The appellant sent the FSA two memoranda to that effect. The FSA terminated the contract and the landowner appealed to a higher level within the FSA. The parties did not explain the respective roles of the NRCS and the FSA in administering the Conservation Reserve Program. Based on the parties' submissions, it appears that these agency components share that responsibility, with the FSA handling the funding aspect and the NRCS performing most of the technical work, including determining whether a project is feasible and appropriate from a scientific and engineering standpoint. On March 20, 2006, the agency conducted a hearing on the matter, and an FSA official asked the appellant to provide a review of the factors that NRCS considered in making the adverse eligibility determination. Rather than conveying NRCS management's position on the matter, the appellant sent the FSA a memorandum stating his disagreement with that position and concluding that "[t]he decision to terminate the contract was made in error and I believe that [the landowners] should prevail in their appeal." In response to the appellant's memorandum, the agency proposed a 5-day suspension for the appellant's "[d]eliberate or malicious refusal to comply with rules, regulations, written procedures, or proper supervisory instructions." The agency stated in part that Once your supervisor makes a decision, you do not have the authority to disregard that decision and communicate to the client or another agency that you disagree and are reversing that decision. Your responsibility is to support the agency's decision, even if you personally disagree. The appellant responded, again explaining his disagreement with NRCS's decision and arguing that it was both his right and his obligation to offer his own professional opinion to the FSA. After considering the appellant's response, the agency affirmed the charge but imposed only a 3-day suspension. ...
Here, O'Donnell Appeals The Decision:
| 09-10: MSPB: Johnson v. Postal ... SHE WAS REMOVED FOR INABILITY TO PERFORM THE ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF HER POSITION. ... Effective April 5, 2012, the agency removed the appellant from her Supervisor of Customer Service position based on a charge of inability to perform the essential functions of her position. The appellant filed an appeal in which she alleged disability discrimination. Subsequently, acting through her counsel, the appellant withdrew her disability discrimination claim. After affording the appellant her requested hearing, the administrative judge affirmed the removal action upon finding that the agency proved the charge, the action promoted the efficiency of the service, and the penalty of removal was reasonable. The appellant petitions for review of an initial decision that affirmed her removal from federal service for inability to perform the essential functions of her position. The agency has not responded to the petition for review. ... Here, Johnson Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
State v. McEnroe ... MURDER ... WHAT THEY FOUND WHEN SHE FAILED TO SHOW FOR WORK. ... A friend of Judy Anderson's discovered this horrific scene two days later after Judy failed to show for work or respond to phone calls. In Carnation, Washington, on December 24, 2007, six members of the Anderson family were gunned down in their home: respondent Michele Anderson's parents, Judy and Wayne Anderson; respondent Anderson's brother, Scott, and sister-in-law, Erika Anderson; and respondent's five-year-old niece, Olivia Anderson, and three-year-old nephew, Nathan Anderson. All victims were shot at least once, and Judy, Scott, Erika, and Olivia were shot multiple times in the head and body. Police quickly responded. During the investigation, McEnroe and Anderson arrived at the scene. McEnroe and Anderson initially told police that they had gone to Las Vegas to get married on December 24, but, upon police questioning, they changed their story and confessed to the murders. On December 28, 2007, the State charged Anderson and McEnroe with six counts of aggravated first degree murder. ...
Here, McEnroe Appeals To WSC:
COURT DECISION |
| 09-06: 10thCir: Hunt v. Riverside ... MY MANAGER SAID HE WOULD PUT A MOP HANDLE UP MY BU__ AND MAKE A FUDGE SICKLE OUT OF ME. ... Mr. Hunt worked for Riverside performing custodial duties and running business errands. In December 2010, he submitted a charge of discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging discrimination based on his race, "Black-African American," in relation to an alleged comment made by Riverside management that they would "put [a] mop handle up [Mr. Hunt's] butt and make a fudge sickle out of [him]," He also claimed that Riverside forced him to drive a company vehicle instead of his own, and suspended him without pay because of his race. Mr. Hunt then filed the instant action pro se in January 2011, claiming Title VII race discrimination. His complaint described the "fudge sickle" comment, and allegations that a human resources supervisor "talk[ed] down to [him]" and "fuel[ed] hostility," Riverside reduced Mr. Hunt's hours and ultimately terminated him in February 2011 for insubordination. Mr. Hunt immediately filed a second charge with the EEOC alleging the termination was in retaliation for the filing of the first charge. ... Here, Hunt Appeals To 10thCir: COURT DECISION |
|08-22:.News:.OSC: 'STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO RULING ON KAPLAN V. CONYERS'
Kaplan v. Conyers ... reversed ... CAN THE BOARD (MSPB) , REVIEW THE MERITS OF DOD NATIONAL SECURITY DETERMINATIONS CONCERNING ELIGIBILITY OF AN EMPLOYEE TO OCCUPY A SENSITIVE POSITION THAT IMPLICATES NATIONAL SECURITY ? ... Ms. Conyers and Mr. Northover were indefinitely suspended and demoted, respectively, from their positions with the Agency after they were found ineligible to occupy "noncritical sensitive" positions. Ms. Conyers and Mr. Northover independently appealed the Agency's actions to the Board. In both appeals, the Agency argued that, because these positions were designated "noncritical sensitive," the Board could not review the merits of the Agency's eligibility determinations under Egan's precedent. A. The Egan Holding: In Egan, the Supreme Court held that the Board plays a limited role in adverse action cases involving national security concerns. The respondent in Egan lost his laborer's job at a naval facility when he was denied a required security clearance. Reversing our decision in Egan v. Department of the Navy, the Court held that the Board does not have authority to review the substance of the security clearance determination, contrary to what is required generally in other adverse action appeals. Rather, the Court held that the Board has authority to review only: (1) whether an Executive Branch employer determined the employee's position required a security clearance;(2) whether the clearance was denied or revoked; (3) whether the employee was provided with the procedural protections specified in 5 U.S.C. § 7513; and (4) whether transfer to a nonsensitive position was feasible. ...
Here, Kaplan (OPM) Appeals To FedCir:
COURT DECISION |
|08-21:.News:.BRADLEY MANNING SENTENCED TO 35 YEARS FOR LEAKING SECRETS ABC News
|08-21:.Truth:.AS PHONEY AS A THREE DOLLAR BILL - HEY TED: CRUZE YOUR BUT BACK TO CANADA !
|08-21:.Tech:.WSJ REPORTS NSA SPYING CAPABILITIES COVER UP TO 75 PERCENT OF US INTERNET TRAFFIC ... The question of how much contact the NSA has with internet traffic throughout the US is being raised again, this time by the Wall Street Journal. Yesterday The Atlantic took issue with the security agency's mathematics and 1.6 percent claim, while the WSJ report looks more closely at its reach into telecommunications companies. The mishmash of codenamed programs are said to cover up to 75 percent of US internet traffic. Engadget
Devlin v. OPM ... OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT IS TRYING TO S___ ME OUT OF MY DAD'S DEATH BENEFIT !
... The administrative judge made the following findings of fact, which the parties do not dispute. The appellant's parents were married almost 42 years when his father, Daniel Devlin Sr., died on January 26, 2010. At the time of his death, Mr. Devlin was a current FERS-covered employee of the Department of Defense with approximately 6 years of civilian service to his credit. Following her husband's death, the appellant's mother, Darlene Devlin, started to prepare an Application for Death Benefits, Standard Form (SF) 3104, but she died on February 12, 2010, before she could sign or file it On July 1, 2010, the appellant and his brother, co-administrators of their mother's estate, completed, signed, and filed the SF 3104, seeking the basic employee death benefit to which Mrs. Devlin would have been entitled under 5 U.S.C. § 8442(b) as the current spouse and widow of a federal employee. Based on Mr. Devlin's January 26, 2010 death, the amount of this benefit would have been 50 percent of Mr. Devlin's final annual rate of basic pay (or average pay if higher) plus $29,722.95. OPM denied the application, but paid the estate with interest the FERS contributions that Mr. Devlin had made. The appellant filed a Board appeal and the administrative judge affirmed OPM's decision on the basis that the estate was not legally entitled to apply for or receive the benefit. The appellant has filed a petition for review disputing the administrative judge's interpretation of the law. ...
Here, Devlin Appeals The Decision:
| 08-20: MSPB: Ramey v. Postal ... I DID NOT VIOLATE THAT DAMNED LAST CHANCE AGREEMENT -and- I WAS NEVER GIVEN A DIRECT ORDER BY MY SUPERVISOR ! ... As the administrative judge noted in his initial decision, the Board generally lacks jurisdiction to hear an appeal when the appellant has previously entered into an LCA wherein he waived his right to appeal the action in question. An appellant may invoke the Board's jurisdiction only if he nonfrivolously alleges that he complied with the LCA; that he did not knowingly and voluntarily enter into it; that the agency committed a material breach of the agreement or acted in bad faith; or that the LCA resulted from fraud or mutual mistake. On review, the appellant challenges the administrative judge's findings that he failed to nonfrivolously allege that he did not violate the LCA. He argues that he complied with the LCA and that there were mitigating factors as to why he was unable to timely report to his assignment on April 5, 2012. He also alleges that he did not fail to comply with his supervisor's instruction on April 6, 2012, as he was never given a direct order. ... Here, Ramey Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
| 08-20: 8thCir: Peterson v. Florence ...
WOULD YOU LIKE SOME NUDE DANCERS WITH YOUR JUICE ? ...
Florence is located within Lyon County, Minnesota. It has a population of 39 and is approximately .2 of a square mile. Florence contains sixteen single-family residences, a small shop used to store Florence's equipment, an unheated metal building operating as Florence's office, and a park.
Appellants Dale Peterson and The Juice Bar, LLC, an adult entertainment establishment operated by Peterson, filed suit against the City of Florence ("Florence") alleging Florence's zoning scheme violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Florence, concluding the zoning scheme is a valid content-neutral, time, place and manner regulation. Florence is located within Lyon County, Minnesota. It has a population of 39 and is approximately .2 of a square mile. Florence contains sixteen single-family residences, a small shop used to store Florence's equipment, an unheated metal building operating as Florence's office, and a park. In 2008, Florence adopted Ordinance Nos. 2008-03 and 2008-02. Ordinance No. 2008-03 prohibited the operation of a "sexually-oriented business" Peterson opened The Juice Bar in December 2010, which featured live, nude dancers. One day after opening, law enforcement cited Peterson for operating a "sexually-oriented business" within 250 feet of a park. Under threat of arrest, Peterson closed The Juice Bar. Peterson was charged with three misdemeanor violations of Ordinance No. 2008-03. Peterson and The Juice Bar filed suit against Florence, seeking declaratory relief, injunctive relief, damages, and attorney's fees and costs. The district court granted Florence's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the suit with prejudice. ... Here, Peterson Appeals To 8thCir: COURT DECISION |
| 08-19: MSPB: Bennett v. Justice ... JUSTICE FEELS STRONGLY THAT IF YOU LIE TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, YOU DESERVE TO BE FIRED ! ... The Department of Justice proposed the removal of the appellant, a Supervisory Criminal Investigator, based upon six charges: (1) misuse of a government vehicle; (2) failure to secure or protect his Bureau-issued firearm; (3) operating a government-owned vehicle (GOV) after consuming alcohol; (4) transporting a firearm after consuming alcohol; (5) providing false information to a law enforcement officer in the course of an official inquiry; and (6) conduct unbecoming a Supervisory Special Agent. The deciding official thereafter issued a decision letter in which she sustained all six charges and removed the appellant. She stated in the decision letter that the charge of providing false information to a law enforcement officer in the course of an official inquiry alone was a sufficient basis for removing the appellant, but the letter made no reference to Giglio concerns as an aggravating penalty factor. The appellant filed a Board appeal and requested a hearing. Because the appellant raised claims of harmful procedural error and violations of law, the administrative judge advised the parties during the hearing that there was evidence in the record to support a claim of violation of due process under Stone v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 179 F.3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 1999), and Ward v. U.S. Postal Service, 634 F.3d 1274 (Fed. Cir. 2011), and invited the parties to address these issues in their closing statements. After considering the parties' written closing statements, the administrative judge issued an initial decision reversing the appellant's removal. ... Here, Justice Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
Taylor v. Treasury ... TREASURY SAID IT WITHHELD HER WIGI BECAUSE SHE DID NOT MEET THE TIME-IN GRADE REQUIREMENTS - SHE DISAGREES.
... The appellant was a GS-04, Step-01 Tax Examining Clerk when the agency awarded her a WIGI to Step-02 on February 26, 2012. The agency later determined that, because she had not completed the required waiting period, she was not yet eligible for the WIGI. As a result, the agency cancelled the WIGI retroactive to the date of its award, reverted the appellant's basic pay rate to Step-01, and initiated a debt collection for the resultant overpayment. The appellant then filed this appeal, asking that her WIGI be restored. After advising the parties that the Board may lack jurisdiction and after considering the parties' submissions on the issue, the administrative judge dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction without a hearing. ...
Here, Taylor Appeals The Decision:
| 08-16: MSPB: Hughes v. OPM ... OPM TOLD HER THEY WOULD SUBTRACT $721 PER MONTH FROM HER FEDERAL SURVIVORS ANUITY BECAUSE SHE WAS THEORETICALLY ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE $721 IN SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS NOT ACTUALLY ENTITLED TO RECIEVE THE SSA BENEFITS. ... After the death of her husband, Initial Appeal File (IAF) the appellant filed an application for a Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) survivor annuity based on her husband's federal service. OPM notified the appellant that her survivor annuity was subject to an offset if she was "eligible" for Social Security Administration (SSA) survivor benefits. OPM later notified the appellant that SSA had verified her "eligibility" for social security benefits, and that the offset amount from her CSRS survivor annuity would be $721.24, which represented the portion of the monthly social security benefit that she was "eligible" to receive as a result of her husband's federal service performed after December 31, 1983, while covered under both the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and CSRS deductions. After the appellant requested reconsideration, OPM affirmed its initial decision to offset the appellant's survivor annuity because she was "entitled, or on proper application would be entitled," to social security benefits. OPM found that, although the appellant was working and could not collect the social security benefit, this did not negate her "eligibility" for the benefit. On appeal, the appellant asserted that, because her earned income exceeded the income limit for receiving a social security benefit, such benefits were not payable to her and therefore her CSRS survivor annuity should not be reduced because she was not "entitled" to SSA benefits under the law . The administrative judge, however, affirmed OPM's reconsideration decision. ... Here, Hughes Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
| 08-16: MSPB: Rittgers v. Army ... NOT SO FAST ARMY !!! ARMY GETS CAUGHT TRYING TO PIMP THE "CRIME PROVISION" TO SECURE IL-LEGIT INDEFINITE SUSPENSIONS. ... Effective December 15, 2010, the Department Of The Army suspended the appellant from his WG-7 Aircraft Mechanical Parts Worker position because it had reason to believe that the appellant had committed a crime that could result in a sentence of imprisonment. Over the Department Of The Army's objection, the administrative judge dismissed the appeal without prejudice. After the appellant filed a petition for review, the Board reversed the dismissal and remanded the appeal for further adjudication. On remand, after holding a hearing, the administrative judge found that the Department Of The Army did not prove that it had reasonable cause to believe that the appellant had committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment could be imposed because it was undisputed that the appellant had not been charged with any criminal offense and there was no criminal proceeding pending involving the appellant. Accordingly, the administrative judge ordered the Department Of The Army to cancel the indefinite suspension and retroactively restore the appellant, effective December 15, 2010. The Department Of The Army has filed two petitions for review asking us to reconsider the initial decisions issued by the administrative judge, which: (1)reversed the agency's first indefinite suspension because the agency did not have reasonable cause to believe the appellant committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment could be imposed; and (2) reversed the agency's continuation of the second indefinite suspension once the indictment against the appellant was dismissed. ... Here, Army Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
| 08-15: MSPB: King v. AirForce ... SHOULD THE WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ENHANCEMENT ACT (WPEA) DAMAGES PROVISION APPLY TO CASES PENDING PRIOR TO ITS EFFECTIVE DATE ? ... The appellant originally filed an appeal of her demotion with the Board on January 12, 2010. After additional proceedings, the administrative judge issued a remand initial decision on October 3, 2012, finding that the demotion was in retaliation for making a protected disclosure under 5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(8) and reversing the action. The initial decision became final, and the appellant filed a timely motion for consequential and compensatory damages on December 17, 2012. The WPEA was signed into law on November 27, 2012, with an effective date of December 27, 2012. On February 6, 2013, the administrative judge conducted a status conference wherein she noted that one issue in dispute was whether the appellant is entitled to an award of compensatory damages under section 107(b) of the WPEA. She thoroughly explained that this issue turned on the legal question of whether this provision of the recently enacted WPEA would be given retroactive effect and proposed to certify that question for interlocutory review by the Board. She offered the parties an opportunity to object to her proposed certification. The agency did not object to the certification of an interlocutory appeal. The appellant filed an objection. The administrative judge thereafter issued an order finding that the application of the WPEA's damages provision to cases pending prior to its effective date would have an impermissibly retroactive effect under the standards set forth in Landgraf v. USI Film Products, 511 U.S. 244 (1994), and would violate tenets of sovereign immunity. She concluded therefore that the appellant was not entitled to compensatory damages and certified her ruling for interlocutory review by the Board. ... Here, King Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
| 08-15: MSPB: Johnson v. HHS ... WAS SHE COERCED TO RESIGN BY: HER MANAGER'S "CONSTANT PRESSURE"; DENYING HER REQUESTS FOR "TELEWORK" OR REASSIGNMENT TO ANOTHER SUPERVISOR ? ... The record reflects that the appellant orally requested FMLA leave, and the agency approved her request contingent on her providing the information required for FMLA leave. On review the appellant reasserts her argument from below that she was forced to resign because her supervisor created an intolerable work environment that caused her health to deteriorate rapidly. In particular, the appellant claims on review that she was coerced to resign by: her manager's "constant pressure" to provide documentation as a condition for receiving leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA); and her manager's refusal to "provide her with reasonable accommodation" by denying her requests for "telework" or reassignment to another supervisor. ... Here, Johnson Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
| 08-14: MSPB: Bemiller v. OPM ... IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHETHER THE UNDERLYING REMOVAL, SHE RESIGNED TO PREVENT, WAS THE RESULT OF HER DISABILITY OR NOT. ... Until her resignation on September 21, 2010, to avoid removal, she was a Management Assistant, GS-0344-07, with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and had 32 years of service. Based on evidence from 2003 through 2010, the administrative judge determined that the appellant had documented the deficiencies in conduct and attendance that led to DLA's removal action but did not show that the medical conditions upon which her application was based caused these deficiencies. The administrative judge thus concluded that the appellant did not establish that her symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic pain prevented her from performing the critical and essential elements of her position. The appellant updated her medical evidence with a December 2011 assessment from her physician and an evaluation by a specialist in physical medicine, Gordon J. Korby, D.O. Although the doctors agreed that the appellant was permanently unemployable, Dr. Korby devoted significant discussion to the leg, ankle, and knee injuries she sustained in a June 2010 automobile accident. The administrative judge concluded that these injuries were unrelated to the conditions cited in her disability retirement application and thus were beyond the review in this case was filed before that date. Even if we considered the petition under the previous version of the Board's regulations, the outcome would be the same. Board's jurisdiction. She affirmed OPM's reconsideration decision. The appellant has filed a petition for review. ... Here, Bemiller Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
| 08-14: MSPB: Stafford v. Postal ... WAS HER MSPB APPEAL FILED LATE -or- DID SOMETHING ELECTRONICALLY GO WRONG BETWEEN TRANSMISSION AND RECEIPT ? ... In the August 9, 2012 remand initial decision, the administrative judge informed the appellant that the remand initial decision would become final on September 13, 2012, unless a petition for review was filed by that date or the Board reopened the case on its own motion. On September 14, 2012, the Office of the Clerk of the Board received the appellant's petition for review by facsimile. The Office of the Clerk of the Board, by notice dated September 18, 2012, informed the appellant that the Board may dismiss her petition for review as untimely unless she filed a motion, including a statement, signed under penalty of perjury, or an affidavit, showing that her petition for review was timely filed or that good cause existed for the filing delay. In response, the appellant filed a motion to accept her petition for review as timely. The Office of the Clerk of the Board then issued a second show-cause order notifying the appellant of a discrepancy between the imprinted date and time on the petition for review filed with the Board and the date and time she claimed she filed her petition for review as set forth on a "Query Call Details" log. The second show-cause order noted that, if the appellant had submitted her petition for review via facsimile on September 13, 2012, at 23:25 as the "Query Call Details" seemed to show, it would follow that the date imprinted on the facsimile of her petition for review should also be September 13, 2012, at 23:25 rather than September 14, 2012, at 02:21. The appellant has filed a petition for review in this case asking us to reconsider the remand initial decision issued by the administrative judge, which dismissed her restoration appeal for lack of jurisdiction. ... Here, Stafford Appeals The Decision: MSPB DECISION|
Herman v. Justice ... HE ALLEGES THAT JUSTICE RETALIATED AGAINST HIM FOR PROTECTED WHISTLEBLOWING BY TAKING THE FOLLOWING PERSONNEL ACTIONS.
... The appellant is a GS-13 Human Resource Management Examiner with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). In that position, he reviews and evaluates programs with each of BOP's 116 correctional facilities and its central Human Resources Department in Grand Prairie, Texas. The appellant filed an individual right of action (IRA) appeal alleging that the agency retaliated against him for protected whistleblowing by taking the following personnel actions against him: issuing him two letters of counseling; giving him an unfavorable mid-year performance review; and reassigning him to a different position. The appellant alleged that he made the following disclosures protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act: a manager violated the Privacy Act by telling the appellant's second level supervisor, Rachel Stock, that the appellant's review of the Bureau of Prisons Consolidated Employee Services Center in Grand Prairie may have been unduly harsh because his daughter who had worked there had been disciplined; his first level supervisor, Ronda Eddy, abused her authority by issuing two letters of counseling, issuing a critical mid-year performance review, and threatening to detail him to another position while indicating that if the appellant applied for another position she would make that all go away; and The appellant listed a number of other alleged retaliatory personnel actions in his Office of Special Counsel complaint and his initial appeal to the Board. During the course of the proceedings, the administrative judge narrowed the personnel actions to those listed above. The appellant has not challenged the administrative judge's narrowing of these issues. In any event, it appears that the additional personnel actions are attendant to those listed above. Ms. Eddy and Ms. Stock abused their authority during a number of facility reviews by arriving late, not interacting with the review team, making sarcastic and inappropriate comments in front of the team, and delegating to an inmate the handling of sensitive documents. The administrative judge dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. ...
Here, Herman Appeals The Decision:
Stalder v. Army ... SHOULD I BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR A UNION GRIEVANCE FILED WITHOUT MY PERMISSION ?
... The agency reduced the appellant in grade for performance reasons from her position as a GS-11 Regulatory Project Manager to the position of Engineering Technician (Civil), GS-5, effective May 6, 2012. On May 17, 2012, she filed an appeal with the Board. The agency moved that the appeal be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because the appellant had filed a grievance on April 16, 2012, before she filed her Board appeal, and her election to pursue the matter under the negotiated grievance procedure deprived the Board of jurisdiction over her Board appeal. The appellant opposed the agency's motion, arguing that she did not initiate the grievance, that the union pursued it without her knowledge, permission, or involvement, and that, from the outset, she chose a Board appeal over the agency's negotiated grievance process. In support of her position, the appellant submitted her own affidavit and one from union steward Irene Leyva-Tracy. Subsequently the appellant moved for dismissal of the appeal without prejudice based on her health. Although the administrative judge granted the motion, he first found the appeal within the Board's jurisdiction. Based on the affidavits the appellant submitted, he found that she did not explicitly authorize the union to file a grievance on her behalf, that she had no prior knowledge of the union's filing the grievance, and that, after discovering that it had done so, she affirmatively disavowed the grievance by the union as not being her election of forums.
The agency has filed a petition for review from the initial decision issued by the administrative judge. ...
Here, Army Appeals The Decision:
|08-08: Tech: Take A Look At One Of The First Xbox One Retail Units Right Here (Video) :
|08-01: MSPB WATCH: Office Of Special Counsel (OSC) Defends Whistleblower Who Refused to Disclose Classified Information:
|08-01: MSPB WATCH: MSPB Declines to Apply Election of Remedies Retroactively:
|07-31: News: FEDERAL APPEALS COURT RULES SEARCH WARRANTS NOT NEEDED TO SEIZE CELLPHONE RECORDS:
5th US Circuit Court of Appeals argues that law enforcement's collection of such data does not violate the Fourth Amendment, and doesn't need to pass the probable cause test. Instead, as the info is considered a service provider's business records, authorities can get ahold of it so long as they have "reasonable grounds" and obtain a court order. The data in question can include numbers dialed, the date and time of communications and info allowing officials to suss out the phone's location at the time of a call.
Opinion File (PDF)
|00-00: Tech: NEXUS 7 REVIEW (2013) : A gorgeous 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display, 2GB of RAM, a rear camera, a quad-core processor, wireless charging and the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean 4.3.
|07-31: News: THIS IS A WARNING TO FEDERAL EMPLOYEES ATTENDING THE FEDERAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION (FDR) CONFERENCE IN ORLANDO FLORIDA THIS WEEK: YOU ARE BEING WATCHED & VIDEOTAPED. A FEW OF YOU WILL GET FIRED FOR YOUR ACTIONS THIS WEEK: A tiny few federal employees attend conferences in order to have a free government paid vacation for themselves and their family members. They plan to attend only a few presentations and spend the majority of day enjoying Orlando with their family and friends. The FDR conference has been infiltrated by right-winged groups hell bent on taking down such big government funded conference events. The hidden cameras are rolling. If you are smart, you will spend your 9-5 workday equivalent in the conference halls. If you are dumb, you will get fired. As you have seen in the past, President Obama likes to fire federal employees first and ask questions later. |
| 07-31: DcCir: Lacson v. Homeland ... THE SENSITIVE TSA INFORMATION I DISCLOSED AND GOT ME FIRED WAS ALL MADE UP. (REALLY) ... Like many people, Jose Lacson posted things online that he should not have. The problem is that, unlike most people, Lacson was a Federal Air Marshal. And the things he posted did not concern relationships gone awry or parties that he should have avoided. Instead, he wrote about the number of air marshals the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had hired in recent years, the locations of their assignments, and the rates of attrition at various TSA field offices. Upon discovering Lacson's online pastime, TSA determined that Lacson had disclosed Sensitive Security Information and fired him. Lacson asks us to set aside TSA's order by invoking another time-honored online tradition: he claims that he made it all up. That is, he maintains that the facts he posted were not true and hence did not really disclose sensitive information ... Here, Lacson Appeals To DcCir: COURT DECISION |