Blog Archives

Transgender Federal Employee Wins Discrimination Case

Tamara Lusardi was working in the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (“AMRDEC”) in Redstone, Ala., when she transitioned from male to female in 2010. According to a report released by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), the Army improperly restricted her restroom usage, referred to her with male pronouns and by her birth name and stopped giving her work at that time. In a landmark ruling issued on April 1, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found...

Tax Delinquency Among Federal Employees Is a Growing Problem

The recently IRS’s 2014 tax delinquency report identified nearly 100,000 federal employees who haven’t paid their taxes, resulting in a loss of more than $1 billion to the federal treasury. This week the House of Representatives will consider two bills to hold federal employees and federal contractors accountable for their tax delinquent status. The bills provide that individuals with “seriously delinquent tax debts” would be ineligible for federal employment or federal contracts. Those who are in the process...

Union Argues Against Changes to Commissary Worker Status

Commissary employees are currently paid on the government services (GS) or wage grade (WG) government compensation systems, depending on their job. The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC), a group tasked by Congress with examining military benefits, suggested earlier this year that commissary employees be moved from those systems to non-appropriated funds (NAF) status as a cost savings measure. A government employee union says moving forward with a such a plan "raises profound concerns for civilian...

12 Prohibited Federal Employee Personnel Practices

Twelve prohibited personnel practices, including reprisal for whistleblowing, are defined by law at § 2302(b) of title 5 of the United States Code (U.S.C.). A personnel action (such as an appointment, promotion, reassignment, or suspension) may need to be involved for a prohibited personnel practice to occur. Generally stated, § 2302(b) provides that a federal employee authorized to take, direct others to take, recommend or approve any personnel action may not: 1. discriminate against an employee or applicant based on race,...

Windfall Elimination Provision

If you receive a federal pension and are also eligible for Social Security benefits based on your own employment record, a different formula may be used to compute your Social Security benefit. This formula will result in a lower benefit. The Windfall Elimination Provision affects workers who reach age 62 or become disabled after 1985 and are first eligible after 1985 for a federal pension. The Windfall Elimination Provision does not apply if: You were eligible to retire before January 1, 1986; or You were first employed...

What Do You Do If You Come Up Short For Retirement?

You’ve done your homework and discovered that your retirement expenses are going to exceed your retirement income. What can you do now? Quite simply, you are going to have to figure out a way to increase your income and/or reduce your expenses. Here are some ideas to get you started: 1. Postpone your retirement. While you might like to retire at a particular age, this may not be realistic given the high cost of retirement. You may need to postpone retirement and continue working a few additional years to allow yourself...

HMOs in the FEHB Program

Two types of plans participate in the FEHB Program: fee-for-service plans and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Health Maintenance Organizations Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) provide or arrange for comprehensive health care services on a prepaid basis through designated plan physicians, hospitals, and other providers in particular locations. Each HMO sets a geographic area for which health care services will be available, called its service area. This area is described in the plan’s brochure. You may join...

Fee-for-Service Plans in the FEHB Program

Two types of plans participate in the FEHB Program: fee-for-service plans and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) Fee-for-Service Plans These plans reimburse you or your health care provider for the cost of covered services. You may choose your own physician, hospital, and other health care providers. Most fee-for-service plans have preferred provider (PPO) arrangements. If you receive services from a preferred provider, you usually have lower out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., a smaller copayment and/or a reduced or waived...

Types of FEHBP Enrollment

In the FEHBP, there are two types of enrollment available, self only and self and family enrollment. Self Only A self only enrollment provides benefits only for you as the enrollee. You may enroll for self only even though you have a family, but they will not be eligible for FEHB coverage (even upon your death or disability). Self and Family A self and family enrollment provides benefits for you and your eligible family members. All of your eligible family members are automatically covered, even if you didn’t...

New 2016 Budget Proposal Targets Federal Retirement

Yesterday, House Republicans released their 2016 budget proposal which includes a measure that would increase the amount federal employees must contribute to their retirement. "In keeping with a recommendation from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, this budget calls for Federal employees — including Members of Congress and congressional staff — to make greater contributions toward their own retirement," the proposal states. House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.)...

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