Rights of Federal Employees
Most civilian employees of our federal government are a well-protected class of employees. Those employees that are not either federal civil service or union-eligible also enjoy expansive employee rights. The employment rights enjoyed by most employees in private industry, such as freedom from discrimination and the right to bargain collectively, are preserved for most “rank and file” federal civilian employees, who also have a variety of additional rights and protections not ordinarily enjoyed outside of federal employment. Many of the rights specific to these federal employees are codified in Title 5 of the United States Code. In addition to the rights of employees in private industry, these protected federal employees enjoy the benefits of (1) The right to job tenure via federal civil service (as an alternative to union protection), including the right to dispute, via a hearing process, a federal agency's justification for many adverse employment actions; (2) the right to the proper classification of their position, including a right to appeal an employing federal agency's misclassification of a position; (3) the right to be free from "prohibited personnel practices;” and (4) the right to be free from retaliation for reporting government waste, mismanagement and/or misconduct by public officials ("whistleblowing"). A federal employee protected by both civil service and union contracts will ordinarily be required to "elect" between remedies provided by their union, or the statutory remedies available to qualifying employees. For example, in the case of an adverse employment action, an employee must elect to file a grievance through his/her union, or an appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board, but may not pursue both.
For representation in a Federal Employment issue call 717 657 7770 to consult with Scaringi Law Attorney Keith Kendall.