• OPM Releases Final Job Family Position Classification and Qualification Standards for Implementation

    OPM Releases Final Job Family Position Classification and Qualification Standards for Implementation

    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has released for implementation the final Job Family Position Classification and Qualification Standards for professional and administrative occupations in the Accounting, Auditing, and Budget Group, 0500. The Job Family Standard (JFS) provides information on series definition, titling instructions, occupation information, and evaluation criteria in occupational series in Financial Administration, Accounting, Auditing, and Budget Analysis.

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20/20 Hindsight

The California wildfires are wreaking havoc among Californians’ houses, businesses, and schools.  California’s largest wildfire in state history is all consuming with tough decisions being made each minute to contain the fire and deter further destruction.

Can You Identify with a Fellow Federal Manager?

Bad things happen to good, conscientious, hardworking federal managers.  This week, we highlight the specific exposures of IRS managers in the hope that you will be able to identify your own vulnerabilities.  You may be aware of the various IRS “scandals” over the past few years from watching or reading the news, but have you considered the impact the incredible amount of congressional and media attention and scrutiny these scandals had and continue to have on IRS managers and employees? These fellow managers face exposures every single day that you don’t hear about in the news – just for doing the job they were hired to do.  Read about Catherine Lunderville and Lynda Wadler’s situations.  Lynda had FEDS Protection and worked with her attorneys from the beginning to be able to defend herself successfully.  Catherine, unfortunately didn’t, because she believed the “IRS would cover her as long as she acted within the scope of her employment.”

Civil Servants in a Political Age

manager matters by federal employee defense service

Debate season is in full swing as the races for the Republican and Democratic nominees for the 2016 presidential election begin to kick into high gear.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

We get several calls a week from federal agency managers who need legal advice or representation but don’t have FEDS Protection in place. Your agency reimburses all managers and supervisors up to half the cost of this insurance – so please – no more of the following excuses.  FEDS Protection works just like other insurance policies - if you don’t have coverage in place prior to an incident leading to an allegation, claim or suit, coverage will be denied. 

Executive Order 13839: Reflections on Accountability and Streamlined Disciplinary Actions

As we quickly approach the one-year anniversary of the Executive Order Promoting Accountability & Streamlining Removal Procedures Consistent with Merit System Principles, we at FEDS Protection believe that while the Executive Order may not have had the impact on the overall federal workforce many anticipated, the spillover effects on the lives of federal managers has left them vulnerable to unprecedented rates of discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblower reprisal allegations.

Federal Managers – Are You Prepared to Take the Stand?

The recent Supreme Court nomination process has demonstrated to the public at large that any Federal employee can be brought forward to testify in a Senate Hearing. As a Federal manager, such an intensive process can be traumatizing especially if personal details become publicized, sensationalized, and/or probed by the media or politicians. In today’s world, conversations, emails, and memos will certainly make news. How do you prepare for this?  How do you decide which law firm to hire? Who can you trust?

Federal Managers Beware – Executive Order Implementation is Not All Good News for You

Last week, the Office of Personnel Management proposed new regulations to implement portions of President Trump’s May 2018 Executive Order on federal employee firing and discipline. Most of the regulations are designed to help agencies discipline or terminate employees for poor performance. For example, federal employees are now given one chance to improve their performance before an agency can propose some sort of personnel action. A year ago, this sounded like the perfect solution to both managers and good performers alike. What could go wrong with a plan to hold Federal employees accountable for performance and conduct? A plan where employees maintain high standards of integrity, conduct, and concern for the public interest? A plan in which the Federal workforce would be used efficiently and effectively?

Federal Managers Exposed

Are you familiar with every civil service law, rule or regulation? 

Federal Whistleblowers – A Partnership to Protect

FEDS Protection and the Whistleblowers of America are proud to announce a new partnership to educate the federal community about whistleblowing. In many instances, employees do not consciously think of themselves as a whistleblower or engaged in protected activity when reporting what he or she believes to be mismanagement, abuse, waste or fraud to a supervisor. Moreover, supervisors often don’t recognize this as “whistleblowing” or as a “protected activity” which requires a continuous process improvement response. Instead it becomes adversarial, leaving the supervisor vulnerable to complaints of whistleblower retaliation. “This disconnect or lack of awareness can stretch far and wide embroiling entire offices in a disruptive and adversarial environment”, said Tony Vergnetti, the President and Founder of FEDS Protection. FEDS Protection provides professional liability insurance which is unique because it provides coverage for exposures only federal employees face. “We deal with real people, every single day, at all levels of government, who are just trying to do the very best in their mission to serve our country. Unfortunately, employees and managers alike are often blindsided by the disruption these matters can cause. We at FEDS believe that education and respect is key.”

Five Employees in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

Did you know that if you are directly accused of wrongdoing, particularly in an OIG or internal management investigation into allegations of wrongdoing, that you will not be assigned an agency attorney? Did you know that even if you are, the attorney’s job is to represent the agency – not you – and that this can have an adverse effect on your future? Managers can and do become embroiled in the complexities of the federal legal investigative process and often become the targets in political agendas. Are you emotionally, financially and legally prepared to defend yourself if you are the next target? We deal with managers, daily, who had no idea the toll this job could take; they had no idea the price one’s family could pay when one is accused of wrongdoing.

Handling Furlough Fallout

In the wake of the recent government shutdown and subsequent strains on the federal community, we have had many FEDS members contact us with concerns about how to handle current or upcoming furloughs. FEDS recognizes the potential negative implications surrounding a government shutdown for all agency employees and stand by you. Below, we have outlined possible areas in which the furlough could lead to adverse employment consequences and tips on how to avoid these situations until the shutdown is resolved.

iPad Raffle

If you have your liability insurance through FEDS Protection, you have automatically been entered into a raffle to win one of two 9.7 inch 128 GB Apple iPads.

Is Your Career in Good Hands?

Cases are won and lost based on the quality of legal representation. If you become the target of an allegation or investigation, one of the first things the agency or investigators will want to know is who is your liability carrier–or–who is your attorney.

Need Time Off for Religious Holidays in 2019? Know Your Responsibilities

As summer time-off requests come to an end, it’s time to start thinking about your religious observances and any time off you may need in the coming months. Previous Office of Personnel Management regulations concerning religious compensatory time rules and procedures were thought by many HR professionals to be vague, resulting in inconsistencies amongst agencies. This past spring, OPM issued its long awaited final regulations to clarify provisions concerning religious compensatory time, allowing employees to accrue and use compensatory time for religious purposes. According to OPM, this benefit “support[s] the President’s Management Agenda by clarifying the rules…that in turn help agencies to become careful stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

New Year, New Liabilities

As the new year begins, we reflect on the past year thinking about family, friends, work, the future.

Post, Like, Comment, Share – But Check Your Guidelines Every Year

We all like our social media, but is it worth losing your job over?   In just a few short years, social media has become a ubiquitous commodity in the workplace. It allows for employees to make and support professional connections, to collaborate easily and effectively, and to share necessary information in real time. Many agencies have embraced the technology in recent years and use it quite effectively to raise awareness about important public issues, as a crisis communication tool during emergencies, and to build public trust by offering authenticity and transparency.

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