Blog Archives

Veteran’s Preferential Hiring Practices

Veterans have made incredible sacrifices for the well-being of their country. If they choose to leave the military and desire a second career in the civil service, a federal job, they have earned the benefit of two key tools that may give them an edge in obtaining the job they desire. These tools are Veterans Preference Points and Veteran’s Recruitment Appointment. These preferential hiring treatments do not guarantee employment, nor are they enacted specifically in order to place a veteran in every federal job vacancy....

GAO Sees Transparency Trouble with HHS and Medicaid Programs

The Government Accountability Office released a report today which says the Department of Health and Human Services lacks transparency in how it makes approval decisions about billions of dollars in experimental projects in the Medicaid program. At issue are "1115 waivers" that the federal government grants to allow states to run test programs that would not otherwise be allowed under Medicaid. For example, states could alter the eligibility or benefits under Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor. HHS...

Role of Employee Performance in RIF Decisions Would Change Under New House Plan

Under the annual DoD authorization bill up for vote in the House Armed Services Committee, the DoD would be instructed to put employees’ performance above other factors such as longevity in RIFs. The “chairman’s mark,” a starting document for voting on the bill, criticizes the Pentagon for not making reductions its civilian federal workforce—as well as in its contractor workforce–equivalent to the reductions in military personnel. The DoD would be required to “consider performance...

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...

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