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Blog Posts in 2018

  • Surviving Sexual Harassment

    The Aftermath Sexual harassment is no joking matter. It can take place in all types of work environments, including federal jobs. It takes courage and determination to file a sexual harassment claim; unfortunately, once you have taken this step, things do not magically disappear. Despite disciplinary action or investigation, you are still affected by the other person’s misconduct even after it ...
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  • Pregnancy Discrimination at 40 Steak & Seafood

    Recent EEOC Case Regarding Pregnancy Discrimination In a press release issued this week, a case was filed through the EEOC against 40 Steak & Seafood for pregnancy discrimination. A server at the steakhouse was fired soon after she informed her employer that she was pregnant. In the aftermath, her boss was telling other employees that she no longer worked there because she was pregnant. Not only ...
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  • Can You Get Fired from Off-Duty Misconduct?

    Whether it’s getting arrested for a drunk driving over the weekend or posting something offensive on social media, it is possible for federal agencies to discipline employees due to misconduct that occurs outside office hours, depending on the circumstances of each case. Keep in mind, federal employers must determine a connection between an employee’s actions outside of office hours and how they ...
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  • What to Do If Hostile Working Conditions Affect Your Mental Health

    While many people often think of on-the-job injuries as physical (i.e. back injuries, repetitive stress injuries, broken bones, etc.), psychological injuries can be just as devastating. Some jobs are so stressful that they have an impact on an employee’s mental health. When it comes to the federal sector, an employee subject to a hostile environment in the workplace can develop or aggravate the ...
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  • EEOC & NLRB: Differences Over Confidentiality in Workplace Sexual Harassment Investigations

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued a report addressing how employers should respond to sexual harassment complaints in the workplace – a report which has raised questions about the confidentiality of these internal investigations. The EEOC recommends that employers protect the confidentiality of internal sexual harassment investigations as much as possible; however, ...
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  • NLRB Proposes Change to Joint Employer Standard

    On Sep. 13, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a press release about the Board proposing a rule change to its joint employer standard. In the release, it stated that on Sep. 14, the NLRB would be publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register regarding the NLRB’s joint employer standard. “Under the proposed rule, an employer may be found to be a ...
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  • Common Signs of Retaliation

    Employees who file a complaint against an employer because of unethical or unlawful practices they experience or witness on the job may be subject to retaliatory actions. Fortunately, federal laws prohibit employers from punishing employees for making complaints or participating in workplace investigations. Punishment doesn’t just mean termination or demotion. There are other times when ...
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  • Are Employee Posts on Social Media Protected by Federal Labor Laws?

    Social media has become an essential part of our daily lives. Whether it’s sharing photos of your vacation or staying updated with current events, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter enables to interact with the world like never before. Sometimes, however, social media activity can also get you fired. It is not uncommon for an angry employee to post something negative ...
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  • Experienced Medical Leave Discrimination?

    There are a wide variety of reasons you may need to take a leave of absence from your job. Unfortunately, some employers may unfairly and illegally discriminate against those who wish to go on extended leave. Remember, you have rights to take leave and you have certain protections for retaining your job in Washington D.C. Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Under federal law, you have a right to take ...
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  • Female Investigators in DOJ Get Fewer Opportunities

    According to an audit issued by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz, female FBI agents on June 26, ATF agents, DEA agents, and deputy marshals are underrepresented in the ranks of law enforcement. In addition, female investigators are rarely promoted to key jobs at our country’s top law enforcement agencies. In the report, women comprised only 16 percent of the criminal ...
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  • Supreme Court Ruling Eliminates Workers' Ability to File Class Action Lawsuits

    In a case involving the rights of tens of millions of employees in the private sector, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a severe blow to workers in May, ruling that companies can use arbitration clauses in employment contracts to prohibit employees from banding together to challenge violations of federal labor laws. The vote was 5 to 4, Trump-nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch and four other ...
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  • Trump Takes Steps to Make Firing Federal Workers Easier

    Over a week ago, President Trump issued three executive orders aimed at reducing the time it takes to fire federal employees. The president’s directives emphasize a merit-based system for employees, while cutting down the amount of time required before an agency can terminate a federal worker. In addition, they also encourage federal agencies to fire poor-performing employees rather than initially ...
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  • What is Constructive Discharge?

    Whether it is a federal discrimination or termination case, many federal employees are curious about the concept of constructive discharge and if it may apply to their case. A constructive discharge occurs when an employer wrongfully makes working conditions so intolerable that the employee is either forced to resign or retire by involuntary means. Common examples of constructive discharge in the ...
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  • DOJ Releases New Sexual Harassment Guidelines

    In response to a 48-page report issued last year by Michael E. Horowitz (general inspector for the Department of Justice) that detailed harassment, assault, and sexual misconduct, the DOJ has issued directives to address sexual harassment earlier this month. Written by the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, and two other officials in his office, the directives aim to ensure that the DOJ ...
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  • Can I File a Defamation Lawsuit Against My Former Employer?

    Defamation occurs when a person makes an intentionally false statement which harms another. It is considered a personal injury, meaning you may be eligible for damages for both financial losses and emotional distress. When a statement is made orally, it is called slander. By contrast, a written statement is called libel. In a job context, the defendant is often an employer or a former employer. ...
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