| Read Time: 4 minutes | MSPB

What to Expect at an MSPB Hearing

The law grants every federal employee the right to contest major adverse actions, such as suspensions over 14 days, demotions and removals. The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is the government agency tasked with providing a venue for federal employees who wish to appeal an adverse action. If you’re appealing an adverse action, your MSPB hearing will often be your best opportunity to argue your side of the case and present evidence in your defense.  Below, we review what you can expect at an MSPB hearing. While this guide can help prepare you, it cannot substitute for years of legal training and experience. Therefore, if you have an upcoming MSPB hearing, you should definitely consider contacting a qualified MSPB hearing lawyer.   What Do I Need to Do Before a Merit Systems Protection Board Hearing? Most Merit Systems Protection Board cases take several months to resolve. The Board’s policy is to adjudicate all appeals within 120 days of receipt, although this standard cannot always be met. Before the hearing, the parties have an opportunity to engage in discovery. This means that you can ask your agency to produce relevant evidence, admit certain facts, and answer certain questions that help your case. You can choose to depose certain individuals, which means you can ask them relevant questions in real-time that they have to answer under oath. The administrative judge (AJ) often also holds a preliminary status conference to discuss the case and clarify any issues from the onset. After the discovery period, the AJ holds a pre-hearing conference with the parties. At this conference, the AJ discusses several key matters with the parties based on their prehearing submissions, including: The MSPB’s hearing procedures, Any pending discovery disputes, How to define the issues of the case, Mutually agreed-upon facts (also called stipulated facts), Potential settlements options, Which witnesses each party wants to speak at the hearing, and  Potential exhibits. These matters can become complicated very quickly. In addition, you can expect a fully qualified and experienced attorney to represent your agency. That’s one of the reasons why you should have an attorney by your side during your MSPB hearing.  These days, a test call (or test Zoom meeting) is sometimes required by the MSPB AJ as a confirmation before the hearing that all parties and witnesses have the technology to participate adequately.  What You Can Expect at an MSPB Hearing  Almost all MSPB hearings begin with a brief technology check. The AJ will then give both parties one last chance to discuss and resolve any pre-hearing matters. Once that step is finished, the AJ directs the agency to call its witnesses. Witnesses participate one at a time. At the beginning of each witness’s testimony, the AJ or court reporter will put them under oath. The AJ then allows the agency’s attorney to conduct their direct examination of the witness. During the direct examination, the agency counsel will ask certain questions of the witness. You (or your attorney) are allowed to object to the questions from agency’s counsel for certain reasons, such as relevancy. After the agency counsel concludes their examination, you have an opportunity to conduct a cross-examination of the witness. This process continues for each one of the agency’s witnesses.  After the last agency witness finishes, the agency will declare that it “rests” its case. At that point, the employee can call their own witnesses. After calling each one of their witnesses, the employee or their representative conducts a direct examination. The agency counsel then has an opportunity to cross-examine the witness. Once the employee’s witnesses have all testified, the AJ allows each party to deliver a short closing statement. Sometimes, this closing statement will be required to be in writing. Parties use their closing statements to argue their case and highlight and review key points of testimony that favor their position. Once closing statements conclude, the AJ adjourns the hearing to consider the evidence. You can typically expect a decision from the AJ within several months after the hearing.   Do MSPB Hearings Involve Juries? No. Unlike many state and federal court cases, MSPB hearings do not involve juries. Instead, they include only the MSPB AJ, you (and your counsel), the Agency’s counsel, and a court reporter. The parties can call witnesses to participate. However, those witnesses must immediately leave after the AJ excuses them.  Where Do I Go For My MSPB Hearing? Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the MSPB generally holds hearings on video calling applications like Zoom. Therefore, most employees can participate from the comfort of their own homes, and expenses for attorney travel are greatly minimized.  Let Us Help Represent You During Your MSPB Hearing Now that you have a basic idea of what to expect at a Merit Systems Protection Board hearing, you can probably imagine how complicated they can become. In fact, it can be almost impossible to know when to object to a question or determine what kind of matters you should ask your employer during the discovery process. For that reason, it’s imperative that you have legal representation to maximize your chances of success. Your future deserves nothing but the best.  The team at the Federal Employment Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC is committed to bringing you stellar representation. We care deeply about protecting your federal career and preserving your legal rights. We’ve zealously defended our clients’ interests at countless MSPB hearings over the years. Let us give you the representation you deserve. Don’t wait. Call us at 866-612-5956 or get in touch with us online.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Workplace Discrimination

What to Do If You Were Wrongfully Demoted

Getting demoted at work can be a crushing blow to your career. However, it’s especially devastating and unjust when you know you were wrongfully demoted. Maybe your boss decided to demote you because of your skin color or gender. Or perhaps your boss demoted you because you made a complaint about a legal or ethical violation in your workplace. Regardless of the reason, it’s essential that you preserve your rights immediately and defend yourself against your employer’s actions.  To get in touch with an experienced federal employment attorney, contact the team at the Federal Employment Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC for immediate assistance. What Does Wrongfully Demoted Mean? When a person says they have been demoted, they mean that they’ve been reduced to a lower rank or less senior position. For example, a federal supervisor may demote their subordinate from a GS-13 job to a GS-12 position. Sometimes, demotions are implemented as a form of discipline, to hold an employee accountable for alleged misconduct or poor performance.  Other times, employees receive a demotion because of illegal, discriminatory reasons. It’s important to understand that federal discrimination laws prohibit any adverse actions, including demotions, for illegal and discriminatory reasons. More specifically, you cannot receive a demotion because of your: Age, Race, Color, National origin, Sexual orientation, Religious beliefs, Medical disability, or Prior protected activity (like filing a complaint) If you think you are being demoted at work because of one of these discriminatory reasons, you need to act quickly. You can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You may also have the right to appeal your demotion with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). These avenues are very different, and it is important to speak to an attorney familiar with the unique rights of employees of the federal government. Whatever appeal path you take, it’s essential that you act in a timely manner. Although the law grants you the right to hold your employer accountable for discrimination, you cannot wait very long. Otherwise, your complaint will be untimely, and a judge will likely toss it out.  Want to Learn More About Your Options After Being Wrongfully Demoted at Work? Now that you know what being wrongfully demoted means, you’re probably wondering what to do next. You also know why wrongful demotions can happen and what agencies you can file a complaint or appeal with, but you’re probably unsure of how to actually start the process. Knowing that you’ve been wrongfully demoted is just the beginning of your journey for justice.  At the Federal Employment Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC, our attorneys will do everything possible to protect your rights. When you walk through our doors, we know you’re hurting and need some help. We want to sit down with you to hear your story. But then we will use our knowledge and experience to apply the law to your case. We’ll show you your options. Whatever you decide, we promise to aggressively pursue justice for you. On top of that, we will provide you with outstanding customer service. To us, you’re not a number. You’re a human being with a valuable story and inherent rights. Together, we can help you gain the compensation you deserve for your wrongful demotion.  Because we are passionate about defending the rights of federal employees, our federal employment lawyers offer all potential clients a free initial consultation. You have nothing to lose by calling us today at (866) 891-0578 and sharing your story with us. You can also contact us online. Don’t wait another second. Let’s get underway today. 

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | FERS Disability

FERS Disability Retirement and Severance Pay: What to Know

The federal government grants severance pay to employees who separate involuntarily from the federal service. Not all employees can receive severance pay, however. To qualify, an employee first has to meet several prerequisites. You should also know that severance pay plays an important role for those who are in the process of obtaining a federal disability retirement. We cover the basics here, but we recommend that you reach out to a knowledgeable federal employment attorney to learn more.   What Is Severance Pay? Just like in the private sector, severance pay is compensation given to employees who are involuntarily separated from federal service. “Involuntary separation” includes several key scenarios, including: Separation for a medical inability to perform one’s duties;  Reductions in Force (RIF) or downsizing; A transfer of the position’s function outside of the employee’s commuting area;  Expiration of incumbent’s term of office; and A lack of funds to pay the employee. Am I Eligible For Severance Pay? You may be eligible for severance pay if you are involuntarily separated from the federal service as defined above. However, you need to meet a couple of additional basic conditions. First, you need a career or career-conditional appointment in the competitive or excepted services. Appointments in the Senior Executive Service and some time-limited appointments also qualify, but presidential and emergency appointments do not. Second, you need to have completed at least 12 months of continuous service in the federal government by the date of separation. Finally, you cannot have accepted another position with the federal government and receive severance pay.  How Much Severance Pay Can I Get? Naturally, the amount of severance pay varies from one employee to another. The amount of severance pay that you can receive depends primarily on your years of service in the federal government. You can get one week of severance pay (calculated at your final basic pay rate) for each of your first 10 years of service. Every additional year of service grants you an additional two weeks of severance pay. There is also an age adjustment that boosts the amount of severance pay for employees over 40. For every three months of age beyond age forty, you can add an additional 2.5% to your basic severance pay rate.  When calculating your years of service, you can generally include any time you spent in the national guard or the Armed Forces. Former United States Postal Service (USPS) workers can include their time with that agency as well.  How Does Severance Pay Affect My FERS Disability Retirement? Many employees applying for federal disability retirement look to severance pay as a way to boost their financial picture when exiting government service. However, under current guidance, you cannot receive severance pay if you are “eligible . . . for an immediate annuity from a Federal retirement system.” This means that if you receive an involuntary separation while applying for federal disability retirement, you’ll likely have to return any severance pay you receive. Have More Questions About Severance Pay?  Severance pay is a tricky topic, especially when you have a pending federal disability retirement application. It can be stressful to think about how you’re going to pay for retirement or your next period of unemployment. You shouldn’t have to deal with this issue on your own. Our attorneys at the Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC, are totally committed to helping you secure your financial future. At your free initial consultation, we can discuss the details of your situation and advise you on your best course of action. Call us at (866) 891-0578 or contact us online to set up your free consultation. 

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Workplace Discrimination

Origin Discrimination in the Federal Workplace Overview

Most people understand what racial discrimination, sex discrimination, and disability discrimination all look like. Discrimination based on national origin is a little more difficult to define, and it often overlaps with racial discrimination. Yet even if it isn’t well known, many federal employees experience national origin discrimination every day they go into work. Just as with any other problem, the first step to solving an issue is recognizing and defining it. As such, it’s critical that federal employees understand what national origin discrimination looks like.  If you think that you or a loved one are experiencing this kind of discrimination, know that the law is on your side. Furthermore, you are entitled to compensation for any such discrimination you experience. To learn more, contact a knowledgeable employment attorney right away. What Is National Origin Discrimination? The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Civil Rights Center provides an excellent definition of discrimination based on country of origin. Specifically, national origin discrimination is any employment discrimination against an employee because of that person’s: Country of origin; Native language; Ancestry; Accent (although English fluency can be required); Ethnic dress or habits; or Actual (or perceived) place of birth. National origin discrimination can also occur if someone is targeted for “looking” or “sounding” like a certain group of foreigners, even if they do not actually belong to that group. Thanks to Title VII, employees cannot fire (or fail to hire) an employee because of their national origin. In fact, employers cannot let an employee’s country of origin affect any decisions related to any term or condition of employment. Terms and conditions of employment include things like an employee’s pay, job assignments, fringe benefits, training, and schedule. If you believe any of these terms and conditions have been impacted because of national origin discrimination, then you have protection under the law. National Origin Harassment  Harassment based on national origin is also illegal. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines “harassment” as unwelcome conduct that is related to a protected characteristic like national origin. Harassment based on national origin can include behaviors like: Demeaning comments about a person’s country of origin; Offensive jokes about a person’s native culture or language; Cultural, ethnic, or national slurs; and National or ethnic stereotypes. However, one offensive joke or comment generally isn’t enough to rise to the level of illegal harassment. Instead, the harassment has to either become a condition of the employee’s job or become severe enough to create an objectively intimidating, hostile, or abusive environment. What Should I Do If I Am Experiencing National Origin Discrimination? In almost all circumstances, you can help yourself by taking several key actions. First, document all incidents of national origin harassment or discrimination. Include details like the time, place, date, and the name of the offender. Second, try to resolve the issue with the offender unless you feel that it is dangerous to do so. In some cases, the offender simply doesn’t understand how they are coming off to others. Other times, they are simply acting ignorantly. Finally, report the behavior to a supervisor. If your supervisor is the cause of the offensive and discriminatory behavior, go to their supervisor.  Looking to Defend Your Rights? Let Us Help In a perfect world, national origin discrimination would be unheard of. Unfortunately, we live in a flawed world, which means that discrimination is an all-too-familiar occurrence for many federal employees. However, if you are experiencing discrimination based on your national origin, you don’t have to put up with it.  Our attorneys at the Federal Employment Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC, are dedicated to holding federal employers accountable. If you’ve been the victim of discrimination, we want to help you seek justice and get your life back together. From the moment you step into our office, we’ll fight to earn you the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or give us a call at (866) 891-0578.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Federal Employment Law

What Federal Employees Should Know About Working While Pregnant

Federal employees who are pregnant or may become pregnant have special rights under the law. For one, they have protections against pregnancy-based discrimination and gender-based discrimination. In addition, they have the legal right to receive certain work adjustments while they are pregnant.  If you or a loved one are facing pregnancy-related discrimination or are not receiving accommodations from a federal employer, you should contact a qualified workplace discrimination attorney at the Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC immediately.  Working While Pregnant: Relevant Federal Laws  In 1978, Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). This act expanded the prohibition against sex discrimination to include discrimination relating to pregnancy, childbirth, and all related conditions. In other words, your employer cannot discriminate against any employees in any way because they are pregnant or were pregnant. This prohibition applies to all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, and job assignments. In addition, employers cannot discriminate against employees because they intend to become pregnant or have a medical condition related to pregnancy. The PDA also prevents employers from harassing those who are working while pregnant. Harassment includes a variety of behaviors, including: Slurs and name-calling; Derogatory comments; Offensive gestures; Ridicule or mockery; Physical assaults; Threats; and Insults. Finally, the PDA prohibits employers from excluding pregnant women from certain work conditions for their “protection.”  Due to these expansive protections against pregnancy-related discrimination, any employee who believes they are experiencing harassment because they are working while pregnant should contact an attorney.  Accommodations for Working While Pregnant Other laws provide additional protections for pregnant employees. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act entitles employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave for the birth of a child. Furthermore, employees who are working full-time while pregnant—or even just part-time—may be able to get accommodations to help them perform their job. According to the EEOC, possible accommodations for employees who are working while pregnant can include things like: Ergonomic office furniture; Permission to sit or stand while working; Work shift changes; Permission to work from home; and Altered break schedules. A pregnant employee can also receive accommodation for conditions that are caused or aggravated by their pregnancy. Potential conditions include: Lupus; Anemia; Gestational diabetes; Postpartum depression; and Complications from childbirth. Ideally, the pregnant employee will be able to perform the regular duties of her job with accommodations. In some situations, however, the employee may not be able to perform certain functions of their job while pregnant. In these cases, the PDA allows employers to temporarily alter the pregnant employee’s job duties. Alternatively, the employer can transfer the pregnant employee to a different position until she delivers the child. Employers should engage in an interactive discussion with pregnant employees to determine possible accommodations. Do You Want to Learn More About How the Law Protects Those Who Are Working While Pregnant? Creating a family is a special and exciting time of life for most people. Although it also comes with many challenges and trials, discrimination and harassment should never enter the picture.  When discrimination and harassment occurs, it can have a devastatingly negative impact on the mother’s mental and physical health. That’s why it is so important for you to get legal help immediately if you think you or someone you love are suffering from workplace pregnancy discrimination. Contact a Federal Workplace Discrimination Lawyer Today Here at the Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC., we are fully committed to protecting our clients from any form of workplace discrimination. We will fight to ensure that you have a safe place to work, free from discrimination. We’ll also fight to get you any compensation you deserve for any harm you have endured so far. Even if you aren’t sure whether you need an attorney or are facing discrimination, contact us today. All of our initial consultations are free, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out today. Don’t wait. Give us a call today at (866) 612-5956.  Let us help you defend your rights!

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Workplace Discrimination

Understanding Religious Discrimination in the Federal Workplace

Religious freedom is one of the greatest liberties in American society. Thanks to the First Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Americans may practice their religious belief (or non-belief) without fear of religious discrimination in the workplace. Consequently, if you think you are experiencing religious discrimination, you should contact a federal employment attorney right away. What Is Religious Discrimination? Most Americans understand that religious discrimination is prohibited by law. Not as many understand religious discrimination’s exact definition as it applies to the federal workplace.  Put simply, religious discrimination is any negative treatment of an employee or applicant because of that employee’s religion. The prohibition against religious discrimination is very broad. In fact, religious discrimination law protects not only adherents of major global religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. It also shields those who follow little-known faiths and all those who have any kind of sincerely held religious or moral beliefs. This means that atheists and agnostics are also protected against religious discrimination in the workplace.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids religious discrimination in any and all aspects of employment. This includes things like hiring, firing, compensation, promotions, training, work schedule, and job assignments.  The definition of religious discrimination includes harassment as well. Religious harassment refers to several different offensive behaviors aimed at someone because of their religion, including: Slurs, Insults, Offensive comments or jokes, Verbal threats, and Physical assaults. However, any demeaning behavior that creates an objectively hostile or offensive work environment constitutes harassment. On the other hand, simple teasing and isolated incidents do not usually constitute illegal harassment. Unfortunately, there are situations where it can be difficult to tell if you are experiencing harassment. A knowledgeable federal employment attorney can help you make sense of your situation and move forward.  Examples of Religious Discrimination in the Workplace Religious discrimination is distressingly common. According to a 2019 Pew Research study, over 80% of Americans believe that members of at least one religion experience religious discrimination. Specifically, 82% of Americans said that Muslims experienced at least some religious discrimination, and 50% believed that Evangelical Christians were the target of at least some religious discrimination.  Yet what does religious discrimination actually look like? Here are a few examples of religious discrimination and harassment in the workplace: Not being selected for a position because your supervisor doesn’t like your religion; Being forced to work on a day prohibited by your religion; Facing punishment because your supervisor refuses to allow you to pray at certain times during the workday; Being turned down for a promotion because the other applicant goes to the same church as the selecting official;   Hearing from co-workers or supervisors that you’re a “bigot,” “terrorist,” or “kook” because of your religious beliefs.  These are just a few examples. A qualified federal labor law attorney can help you understand if your situation constitutes religious discrimination or harassment.  Looking to Learn More About Religious Discrimination in the Workplace? Religious discrimination is no joke. It can cause isolation, depression, and burnout. It can be easy to feel defeated when you’re subjected to religious discrimination every day. But there’s good news. You have rights.  At the Federal Employment Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC, our passion is helping federal employees stand up for their rights. We believe that no employee should have to deal with religious discrimination. Unlike many other firms, we focus exclusively on helping federal employees, which means we know what we’re doing.  Together, we can help you fight back against the discriminatory actors in your work environment. We can also help you receive just compensation for the losses you’ve experienced because of religious discrimination.  People are often reluctant to hire an attorney because they are anxious about money. We understand that, and we don’t want money to keep you from reaching out to us. That’s why all our initial consultations are free. There’s nothing to lose by giving us a call today at (866)612-5956 or contacting us online. Don’t wait. Let us help you!

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Workplace Harassment

What Is Cyberbullying Under Federal Law?

Merriam-Webster defines cyberbullying as “the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person” that is “ often done anonymously.”  Cyberbullying most commonly occurs on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. That said, it can also happen over text, by email, and in online forums and chat rooms. Furthermore, cyberbullying can happen at any time. In fact, it can even happen at work.  If you’ve been the target of cyberbullying at work, it is critical that you get legal help.  Examples of Common Workplace Cyberbullying Situations Cyberbullying can take many different forms. Here are a few: John’s co-worker threatens him on Facebook after he learns that John received a promotion to manager. Barbara’s supervisor sends her demeaning, rude text messages after work. One of Dave’s subordinates records him falling at work after getting sick from food poisoning and then posts it on Instagram as a joke.  In each one of these instances, the victim can feel powerless. And it’s not surprising why. Cyberbullying in the workplace is both a serious and novel phenomenon. Unlike traditional bullying, which can take place only in limited situations and times, cyberbullying can occur 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This makes it impossible for the victim to escape the torment.  In addition, cyberbullying is generally more public, since threatening or targeting posts can be posted and shared across the internet instantaneously. Even one thoughtless tweet or message can lead to devastating personal and public consequences. Paradoxically, however, cyberbullying can be completely anonymous and hard to track down. Yet the effects of cyberbullying can last for years. Cyberbullying in the Workplace Statistics Because cyberbullying in the workplace can be so difficult to monitor, it’s distressingly common. A 2016 study by the University of Sheffield and Nottingham University revealed that approximately 80% of the participants involved had experienced cyberbullying in the workplace in the six months preceding the study.  The effects of cyberbullying in the workplace are serious. Cyberbullying can cause stress, anxiety, and depression. It reduces workplace productivity, and it can also negatively impact workplace culture and increase burnout and turnover.  Workplace Cyberbullying: Legality Although there is no federal law that prohibits cyberbullying specifically, cyberbullying often overlaps with illegal conduct. For example, cyberbullying can constitute illegal discrimination or harassment. Cyberbullying can also result in federal stalking charges or defamation charges. Approximately half of the 50 states have adopted some kind of anti-cyberbullying law. If you’re suffering from cyberbullying, it’s important for you to take the following steps: Calmly tell the bully to stop; Keep a paper trail; Report the cyberbully to HR or your supervisor;  If the cyberbully physically threatens you, contact the police.  In addition, you should also consider contacting an attorney.  We Can Help You Defend Yourself from Workplace Cyberbullies Here at the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC, we are passionate about protecting federal employees. Our practice focuses specifically on federal employment law; we’re familiar with all kinds of federal employment claims, including cyberbullying. If you’re experiencing cyberbullying in the workplace, we can help you understand your legal options and what you can do to protect yourself.  We know that hiring an attorney can be a significant financial burden. However, we don’t want money to keep you from contacting us. That’s why all of our initial consultations are free. Don’t let the trauma of cyberbullying continue. Reach out to us today.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Federal Employment Law

What to Do If Your Security Clearance Was Revoked

As almost any federal employee can tell you, receiving and holding a security clearance is a common part of government work. In fact, the overwhelming majority of government positions require some level of clearance, whether it is confidential, secret, or top secret. For that reason, a revoked security clearance can be devastating for your career. Yet there is hope for those who have their security clearance revoked. Read on to learn about your options after your agency revokes your security clearance. Keep in mind, however, that you should contact a workplace discrimination lawyer immediately after your security clearance has been revoked. First Things First: Who Can Revoke a Security Clearance? It depends on your employer. For example, the Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudications Facility (DoDCAF) is the primary organization responsible for revoking the security clearances of federal DoD employees. Other agencies, such as the Department of Energy and the Department of State, have their own personnel security programs. If your security clearance has been revoked, then the name of the agency responsible for the decision will probably be listed on the revocation paperwork.  My Security Clearance Was Revoked. Now What? You do not have to simply accept your employer’s decision to revoke your security clearance. Federal law provides federal employees with the right to dispute revocation. In fact, you have two opportunities. When agencies suspect their employees of being untrustworthy, they often provide the employee with a “Notice of Intent to Revoke,” or NIR.  The NIR states that the employee’s security clearance is at risk. Furthermore, the NIR generally states why the agency intends to revoke the employee’s clearance. In addition, the NIR grants the employee the opportunity to plead their case to the agency before it makes the final revocation decision. You should take full advantage of this opportunity to provide favorable evidence. Many times, an employee can save their security clearance simply by taking thorough action at this stage. Make sure that you respond quickly, however, because NIRs give employees only a short window of time to act.  Even if the agency revokes your security clearance, you still have options. For one, if the revocation leads to removal, you can appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). However, the MSPB’s review of your agency’s decision is quite limited. The Board cannot assess the merits of the agency’s decision to revoke your security clearance.  Regardless of what stage you are in the security revocation process, it’s important to be proactive and thorough. In fact, your best course of action is to consult an attorney who has expertise with federal employment cases.  Do You Need Help Getting Your Security Clearance Back? The Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing PLLC is a law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of federal employees. We have represented many federal employees over the years, including in security revocation cases. Unlike most other law firms, our practice focuses specifically on federal employment law, which means we are familiar with all the unique aspects of government work. We will work with you to explore your options after your security clearance is revoked. In many cases, we can also assist you in appealing your agency’s decision to revoke your security clearance.  We recognize that hiring an attorney is a big decision. Yet we do not want you to let money keep you from contacting us. That’s why all our initial consultations are free. You have nothing to lose in setting up an appointment with us. So don’t wait. Contact us right away.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Federal Employment Law

Can You Reapply for a Security Clearance If It Was Denied or Revoked?

Holding a security clearance is vital for almost every government position. As a result, experiencing a security clearance denial can be one of the worst possible things that can happen for a potential federal applicant. Likewise, current federal employees who have their security clearance revoked will almost inevitably lose their positions.  Because the stakes of a security clearance denial or revocation are so high, many people wonder whether reapplying for a security clearance is a possibility for them. Read on to learn more about whether those who have been denied a security clearance can reapply for one. Then consider reaching out to a qualified federal employment attorney to maximize your chances of success.  Can You Reapply After a Security Clearance Denial or Revocation? Yes. Time heals all things, including security clearance revocations. However, the exact reapplication procedures vary from one agency to another. For example, Department of Defense (DoD) regulations state that a security clearance applicant is barred from further reapplication for one year after their security clearance is denied. In addition, reapplicants must obtain a sponsor before reapplying for a security clearance.  Because sponsors will almost always be a corporation or other business, begin researching companies that might be willing to sponsor you. Lean on your professional contacts to find potential leads. Make sure that you are flexible with regard to the kind of position that you apply for at the sponsor company. If necessary, consider applying for an entry-level position just to get “your foot in the door” with a company that can sponsor you. In the long run, getting a security clearance will be more important to your career than your initial position at your sponsor company. What to Do Before You Reapply for a Security Clearance  While you wait to reapply, it is critical that you resolve all outstanding issues in your security clearance profile. Whenever your security clearance is denied or revoked, the team in charge of conducting security clearances investigations—such as the DoD’s Consolidated Adjudications Facility (CAF)—will state clearly the reasons for their decision. Maybe the reason for the denial revolves around your finances, past criminal behavior, drug use, or psychological issues. Whatever the reason, it’s critical that you address that area of your life without delay. If your security clearance was revoked because of your finances, pay down or resolve outstanding debts and reduce your expenses. If alcohol or drug use was the cause of the denial, enter a rehabilitation program or Alcoholics Anonymous. For personal problems, consider seeing a therapist or psychiatrist. Taking action now will greatly improve your chances of success. The Importance of Being Honest When you reapply for your security clearance, do not forget to be completely honest. One of the most common mistakes made by applicants is downplaying or omitting negative information in their applications. However, the government does not tolerate dishonesty. Even a little “white lie” can torpedo your reapplication chances, regardless of the strides you have made in addressing the problems of your original application.   Contact an Experienced Federal Employment Lawyer Today If your back is up against the wall because a federal agency denied or revoked your security clearance, then you need legal representation immediately.  The stakes of a security clearance reapplication are simply too high for you to represent yourself.  Let the Federal Employment Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC guide you through the reapplication process, build your case, and help you regain your livelihood. It is both our privilege and passion to work with people who want to serve their country, so we will do everything possible to help you get your security clearance.  Our firm has decades of experience in employment law, so we know how to help you succeed. Don’t gamble with your future by going it alone. Contact us online today or at (866)612-5956.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Federal EEOC

Understanding EEOC Class Action Complaints

An EEOC class action complaint is a special kind of complaint brought collectively by a group of people against one entity. When most people think of class action complaint, they think of lawsuits against large pharmaceutical corporations, petroleum companies, tobacco producers, vehicle manufacturers, and financial companies. However, federal employees can bring a class action lawsuit against the federal government as well. There are many reasons that injured federal employees might want to start a federal class action complaint, but the most common relates to employment discrimination. Take a moment to learn more about the fundamentals of federal class action lawsuits. Afterward, consider consulting an EEOC class action attorney.  The Basics of EEOC Class Action Lawsuits In traditional lawsuits, each party has to represent itself. This means that each plaintiff has to be present in court, hire an attorney, and participate in all aspects of litigation. Few federal employees have the time or money to go through all of this on their own. With class actions, multiple plaintiffs can bring a lawsuit against one defendant as a group. The term for the group of people initiating the class action is, as you might imagine, a class. There are multiple advantages for plaintiffs who decide to sue the federal government as a class. For one, the court can resolve all of the plaintiffs’ claims against the federal government at one time, saving them time. Second, the plaintiffs can share the costs of litigation rather than having to shoulder all of the costs on their own. Third, only a few class members need to actively participate in the federal class action lawsuit. The others simply wait for the lawsuit to resolve. If the suit is successful, all plaintiffs receive a share of the final award. Requirements for Initiating EEOC Class Action Lawsuits Although there are advantages to bringing an EEO complaint as a class action lawsuit, but there are unique requirements as well. To become a class agent, the employee must consult with an EEO counselor within 45 days of the alleged discriminatory incident and request a class certification. A complainant may move for class certification at any reasonable point in the process where it becomes apparent that there are class implications to the claim raised in an individual complaint. If a complainant moves for class certification after completing counseling, no further counseling is required and an EEOC AJ makes a determination on the class certification. Then a formal class complaint must be signed by the class agent and filed within the regular 15-day timeframe, and must state the policy or practice adversely affecting the class as well as the specific action or matter affecting the class agent.   In order to be certified as a class complaint, the complaint must meet the requirements of numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation. These requirements can be difficult to establish, and there are often other requirements that a class must demonstrate. Truth be told, class action lawsuits are quite difficult to navigate. Therefore, your best choice is to consider hiring a federal class action lawsuit attorney to represent you effectively. Let Us Represent You in a Federal Class Action Lawsuit If you are considering filing an EEOC class action complaint against your federal agency, then it is essential you find the right attorney. Many attorneys do not have the specialized experience needed to represent you in a class action lawsuit. Others may not have the best client reviews. Here at the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing, PLLC, we genuinely care about helping our clients defend their rights. We are also passionate that they obtain the compensation that they rightfully deserve. On top of that, we have many years of experience assisting federal employees with all kinds of employment issues.  Together, we can work to ensure that your federal class action lawsuit has the best chance of success. Don’t wait. Schedule a free consultation with us right away. 

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