Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing

The Lawyers for Federal Employees

Federal employees have unique rights unlike other employees, and many of those rights are governed by specific laws that are unique to federal employees. At the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing, our team of experienced federal employment lawyers is dedicated to helping federal employees understand and protect their rights.

Just like other employees, federal employees can face an array of challenges. When these challenges require you to file a lawsuit, an administrative complaint, or a claim for benefits, it is important that you have a knowledgeable advocate on your side.

The Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing has experience with all types of legal issues affecting federal employees, including disability claims, discrimination and harassment, whistleblower claims, retaliation, wrongful termination, and other adverse employment actions.

If you are a federal employee, the process for protecting your rights is different than for most employees in the private sector. It is important that you have an attorney with specific experience in federal employee law, not just general employment law.

Our practice is directly focused specifically on federal employee law.

Enforcing your rights as a federal employee frequently involves navigating various layers of bureaucracy.

Additionally, it can often be challenging to determine which agency is responsible for your specific type of claim and what process that agency requires you to comply with.

The Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing has experience working with numerous agencies across the federal government regarding federal employee issues. These issues can include complaints or claims involving:

When dealing with claims before these agencies, even small mistakes, such as missing filing deadlines, failing to gather adequate supporting documents, or filing a claim with the wrong agency can be costly.

Having an experienced federal employee lawyer on your side can make all the difference.

At the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing, our team of federal employment attorneys is passionate about helping federal employees with any legal issues they may face. If you need help pursuing benefits you are entitled to or protecting your rights against wrongful conduct, contact us today.

How We Can Serve You

Meet Aaron Wersing

Federal Employee Attorney

Aaron Wersing is the founder of the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing PLLC. His practice focuses solely on assisting federal employees in a broad array of litigation and transactional matters. Mr. Wersing’s practice includes the evaluation and resolution of a diverse variety of federal employment matters.

Aaron Wersing at Desk

Client Testimonials

  • I can’t say enough good things about Mr. Wersing. He was dedicated to my case and because of his dedication he won my case. I was lost without him. I went to many attorney’s and all of them told me they were unable to help me because the government was to hard to fight against, but not Mr. Wersing. He knew his stuff . If your looking for an attorney who treats you like a person and just not like another number, Mr. Wersing is that attorney. He knows his stuff and will fight for your rights. I can never thank him enough.

    - Sandy | EEOC
  • Aaron Wersing is at the very top of every attorney I have met or dealt with. He is a patient, pleasant and professional attorney who is mission oriented and dedicated to get the job done. He helped me through a very arduous disability process allowing me to keep my self dignity and respect. I cannot imagine working with any attorney other than Aaron Wersing when applying for Fers Disability or any other employment & labor, employee benefits or workers compensation issues.

    - Howard M. | FERS Disability
  • Aaron is not only confident in getting things done, he is very compassionate and caring. He is a true fighter for what he believes is right. My case was a bit complicated but Aaron never backed down. Applying for OPM can be daunting and personal. Aaron has the ability to keep you focused and on track which means he understands how emotional it can be for somebody that has to retire due to medical conditions. Because of Aaron my OPM was approved the first time and we didn't have to do a reconsideration. If you want a good attorney that will fight for you, Aaron is your man. I will be forever thankful.

    - Tammy | FERS Disability

Our Federal Employment Law Library

Empowering Federal Employees To Know and Exercise Their Rights

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Bullying In The Workplace Under Federal Law

If you have suffered bullying in the workplace, you might be able to receive relief under federal law if the bullying has certain characteristics. As a federal employee, you can maintain legal action for bullying if that bullying also qualifies as harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. If you are unsure if bullying at work is actionable, don’t resign yourself to the stress and fear, contact an experienced workplace bullying lawyer immediately for help. Is Workplace Bullying Illegal? It depends. Federal law on workplace bullying are really laws against harassment. Employment bullying qualifies as illegal harassment if it’s a condition to continue your employment or it’s severe and pervasive enough for a reasonable person to consider it hostile. Bullying cannot be illegal harassment unless it’s unwelcome conduct motivated by one of the following factors: Your employer can be guilty of harassing you for being a member of a protected group mentioned above or for perceiving you to be a member of a protected group. Your employer can be liable for harassment committed by a supervisor, one of their agents, a co-worker, or a non-employee. You also don’t have to be the person harassed to maintain a legal action. If harassment of another person affects you, you could have a claim.  Can I Sue for Workplace Bullying? You may be wondering, can I sue for workplace bullying? Yes. Legal action against workplace bullying is available to you if the bullying fits the definition of harassment under federal law. However, federal employees can bring workplace bullying lawsuits only after they have followed the steps to make an administrative complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office.  What Is the Procedure for Filing Workplace Bullying Complaints and Workplace Bullying Lawsuits? There are many steps on the way to filing a lawsuit against your employer for harassment. Suing for workplace bullying can be a complicated process, and a lawyer for workplace bullying can help you fulfill every step. Filing a Workplace Bullying Complaint If you are a federal employee, bullying in the workplace law requires that you first reach out to an EEO counselor at your employer’s agency within 45 days of suffering harassment. You can either take part in counseling or alternative dispute resolution (ADR).  If ADR or counseling doesn’t solve the problem, you can file a formal complaint with your agency’s EEO office. You have 15 days after receiving an EEO counselor’s filing notice to file a complaint.  The agency can either dismiss your complaint for procedural reasons, or conduct an investigation. The agency has 180 days to investigate. After investigating, the agency gives you a notice about asking for a hearing or issuing a decision about whether there was discrimination.  If you want a hearing, it is held before an administrative law judge. You have 30 days from the agency’s hearing notice to file for a hearing. You can request a hearing in writing or online. After the judge makes a decision, the agency gets 40 days to decide if they are going to grant you relief that the judge orders. This decision is called a final order.  If you don’t agree with the final order, you can request an appeal within 30 days. You can also ask for reconsideration of the appeal decision within 30 days. If you follow the procedure correctly, you have many chances to get justice against harassment. An experienced attorney for workplace bullying can preserve your rights at every level of the process.  Filing a Workplace Bullying Lawsuit Once you have been through the administrative complaint and appeals process, you can file a bullying-at-work lawsuit. There are a number of different times when you can file a lawsuit, depending on the situation. To file a lawsuit against your employer for violating laws against workplace bullying, you have to follow these timelines: A workplace bullying attorney can determine if the time is right for you to file a lawsuit and champion your rights to a safe workplace in court. If you are curious about workplace anti-bullying laws by state, many of them are similar to the federal laws (though deadlines and procedures vary). But you must follow the federal procedures above if you are a federal employee.  Contact Our Federal Employment Attorneys for the Protection You Need Please remember that you don’t have to endure every hostile behavior at work to receive a paycheck. The workplace bullying lawyers at the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing PLLC are experienced in federal employment law and dedicated to protecting federal employees’ rights. Contact us online or call us at 866-508-2158 for the guidance and protection you need.

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What If I Miss the Deadline for Filing an MSPB Appeal?

The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeals process is vital for defending federal employees’ rights. But as with all other legal processes, the MSPB appeal timeline is strict. For various reasons, it’s not uncommon for workers to inadvertently miss the deadline to file an MSPB appeal.  If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. Even if you miss a deadline, there are situations in which you can nevertheless submit your MSPB appeal successfully. We will explore some of these situations in this article. However, it’s essential you phone a federal employment attorney immediately if you miss your appeal deadline. Having legal representation may make all the difference between a triumphant appeal and a ruined career. Understanding the MSPB Appeal Deadline Process Federal employees may know that the MSPB allows them only 30 calendar days to file an appeal. However, what most people don’t know is when that 30-day window begins. Under federal regulations, the 30-day period begins either on the effective date of the action or on the date of receipt of the agency’s decision. However, if the two conditions happen on different days, then the 30-day period begins on the day the last event happens.  Let’s use an example to illustrate this point. On June 1, Joe receives a decision letter notifying him that he will be removed from the federal government on June 5 for alleged insubordination. Because the effective date of Joe’s removal is June 5, he has until July 5 to submit his appeal. Conversely, if Joe was effectively removed on June 5 but did not receive the decision letter until June 8, he has until July 8 to file his appeal.  You should also remember a key point about holidays and weekends. If the 30th day of the appeal window falls on a weekend or federal holiday, then the window extends until the next working day. So if Joe’s 30-day window was scheduled to end on Wednesday, December 25, he would actually have until the following day to file his appeal.  Exceptions to the Thirty-Day Rule Even if you miss your filing deadline, there are three situations in which the MSPB will hear an untimely appeal. The first situation occurs when a statute or regulation allows the courts to waive the deadline. For instance, MSPB regulations state that the 30-day deadline will be automatically extended to 60 days if you and your agency agree in writing to resolve your dispute with an alternative dispute resolution process, such as mediation or negotiation.  The second situation applies when the agency fails to inform you of your appeal rights. This situation happens quite often because of clerical errors or oversights in the agency decision letters. Without being notified of your appeal rights, you have little or no information about how to contest their decision. Consequently, the law will excuse your delayed filing if you can show your agency did not inform you of your appeal rights. The third and most rare exception occurs when you rely on an erroneous statement by your agency, which causes you to miss the MSPB appeal deadline. For instance, let’s imagine that a postal service worker named Jane is told by her agency that she has 45 days to appeal her removal to the MSPB appeal. She filed her appeal 38 days later, at which point she learned that the real deadline for filing an MSPB appeal was 30 days after her removal. Although Jane’s appeal is technically untimely, her delay was really the result of her agency’s misinformation.  What Do I Do If I Miss a Filing Deadline? The first thing to do if you miss your deadline to file an MSPB appeal is to get legal help. A federal employment attorney can help you explore your options. In addition, they can help you successfully petition the MSPB to waive your deadline. Second, try to determine why you did not file the appeal. Was it because you misunderstood your appeal rights? Did your agency properly inform you of the relevant deadline? Or did someone give you misinformation that led you astray? Whatever the case may be, make sure you save any relevant documentary evidence.  Did You Miss a Filing Deadline? We’ll Do Our Best to Preserve Your Rights Our attorneys at The Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing PLLC are passionate about defending your rights. That means doing everything we can to give you the opportunity to appeal disciplinary action. Over the years, we have helped countless employees file successful appeals past the applicable filing deadlines. When you consult with us, we’ll help develop a strategy to try to save your case. Along the way, we will work to provide you with outstanding customer service. Contact us today so we can work together to set your MSPB appeal back on track.

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Can Federal Employees Be Disciplined for Lack of Candor?

We all know that lying to your supervisor or another federal employee can lead to big trouble. But what happens when a federal employee does not lie but fails to share everything they know? Can you be punished for withholding information? The short answer is yes. The charge for this kind of situation is called “lack of candor,” and lack of candor can lead to discipline. Agencies tend to use “lack of candor” when they can’t charge an employee with the more serious charge of “falsification.” But where falsification involves a federal employee who actually lies, lack of candor federal employee centers around the employee’s failure to be forthright. While less serious than falsification, lack of candor discipline can lead to a serious black mark on your federal record, and for some employees such as law enforcement officers, can end one’s career. For that reason, you should consult a dedicated federal employment attorney if you are facing a lack of candor charge.  Lack of Candor Meaning What does lack of candor mean? While it is one of the most common misconduct charges seen in the federal workplace, it is hard to describe lack of candor. A legal definition of the concept is hard to find. Instead, many legal practitioners treat lack of candor as a broader concept—one which involves a failure to disclose something which should be disclosed to make a statement accurate and complete. Because of its somewhat ambiguous meaning, some federal supervisors use lack of candor as a catch-all charge to throw at an unpopular employee. This behavior is especially common when a supervisor is harassing or retaliating against an employee that they do not like.  What are the Elements of a Lack of Candor Charge? The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) has said there are two main elements of a lack of candor federal employee charge. First, the employee must give incorrect information or incomplete information. Second, the employee must give incorrect or incomplete information knowingly.  Accidentally giving an investigator information that later turns out to be incomplete or incorrect cannot lead to a valid lack of candor charge.  What Is the Difference Between Lack of Candor and Falsification? As we stated above, lack of candor only involves concealing information or giving incomplete information. Falsification requires an affirmative misrepresentation, a lie. To prove a falsification charge, the agency needs to establish that you had a specific intent to deceive. But proving someone’s intent is quite difficult to do. Consequently, agencies face an uphill battle when charging employees with falsification.  Unlike falsification, lack of candor does not have an intent element. All the agency has to prove is that you knew that the information you were giving was incorrect or incomplete. This is significantly easier than proving you had a specific intent to deceive. This is another reason that agencies tend to charge employees with a lack of candor rather than falsification. It’s simply easier for them to make the charge stick.  How Do You Prove a Lack of Candor Charge? The standard of proof for a charge is the amount of evidence the government needs to produce to win its case. For most charges, including lack of candor, the standard of proof is preponderance of the evidence. This means the agency only has to convince a fact-finder that the alleged conduct was more likely than not to have occurred. That is a relatively low standard, making it easy for the agency to prove its case against employees without legal assistance. That issue aside, lack of candor cases almost always involve a credibility determination. In other words, it requires the judge to decide whether the employee accused of wrongdoing seems trustworthy when they give their version of the facts.  The presence or absence of other evidence is also critical. Are there multiple documents with your signature that make contradictory statements? Did any witnesses hear you make two different claims at various times? These types of evidence can single-handedly change the outcome in a lack of candor case. A skilled attorney will interview witnesses and collect evidence that supports your testimony. That is one of many reasons that having an attorney at your side is absolutely essential if you have been charged with lack of candor. Are There Any Defenses to a Lack of Candor Charge? Yes. One defense is that you did not know that the information you related was incomplete or incorrect. Maybe you did not recall the information or did not fully understand the question. Alternatively, you can assert that your agency acted against you because of illegal discrimination. Illegal discrimination includes any different treatment based on certain protected characteristics. A few examples of protected characteristics include race, sexual identity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and military service. When you meet with a federal employment attorney, they will most likely ask you if you can think of similar employees who have received different treatment. If you can think of those kinds of employees, it may be a sign of illegal discrimination in your case.  What Are My Rights If I Have Been Charged with Lack of Candor? As a federal employee, you have several basic due process rights. Whether your employer charges you with lack of candor or another charge, they must generally do three things. First, they must give you at least a 30-day advance notice regarding any proposed adverse action. Second, they must give you a specific and detailed description of your alleged misconduct. Third, they must give you the right to review the materials relied on to propose the action and a meaningful opportunity to defend yourself. If you do not receive these due process rights, a judge may overturn the agency’s action even if they meet their burden of proof. If the discipline is sustained, you may be able to appeal to the MSPB, or pursue remedy through EEO our OSC routes.  We Can Help You Defend Yourself Against a Lack of Candor Charge! Call Our Office Today If your supervisor has charged...

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