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Federal Employee Possible Discrimination

I am working with this guy, he is an auditor for the federal stonewalljacksonfan11/08/17
There may be nothing he can do without going to the IGs offi burneremail11/08/17
There may be nothing he can do without going to the IGs offi burneremail11/08/17
What makes you think he was discriminated against? You know oddis50011/08/17
It is legally impossible to discriminate against a white mal aknas11/09/17
"It is legally impossible to discriminate against a white ma porochi11/09/17
Federal employees have their own special mandatory arbitrati fettywap11/09/17
EEO fed. atty. here. If you're thinking of telling him to f porochi11/09/17
True for EEOC, but what about the merit systems protection b onehell11/10/17
If the above facts are true, then the person who knew that w clocker111/10/17
It doesn't sound like you have a case. isthisit11/11/17
stonewalljacksonfan (Nov 8, 2017 - 8:38 pm)

I am working with this guy, he is an auditor for the federal government who was put on a botched project. Bad decisions were made by the management. Many staff member did not do any work and did not log in into the work software for months, and did not suffer any consequences. As a result, the audit is ruined and the management is now blaiming his lack of skill, lack of regard for deadlines and put him on a performance improvement plan. He did about 95% of the work on a 4 person team. He is a naturalized citizen from Eastern Europe. What can he do that would not be harmful to him in terms of EEO and such things.

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burneremail (Nov 8, 2017 - 10:01 pm)

There may be nothing he can do without going to the IGs office or something.

Best advice is for him to sit down with the management team, discuss the scope of work, expectations from them, his expectations about the work, how to best move forward etc.

I’m not an EEOC expert but it doesn’t seem like any of the scenario above fits that. I’m not even sure it’d fall under the investigator general, office of special counsel or fraud/waste/abuse. This really sounds like something that can be fixed with better communication. Figure out what needs to be done, how to do it, and communicate at different milestones. Don’t get a project, work on it, then wait until the end to see if it’s what is expected. Get a clear idea before, do some work, check in with management along the way, finish project.

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burneremail (Nov 8, 2017 - 10:01 pm)

There may be nothing he can do without going to the IGs office or something.

Best advice is for him to sit down with the management team, discuss the scope of work, expectations from them, his expectations about the work, how to best move forward etc.

I’m not an EEOC expert but it doesn’t seem like any of the scenario above fits that. I’m not even sure it’d fall under the investigator general, office of special counsel or fraud/waste/abuse. This really sounds like something that can be fixed with better communication. Figure out what needs to be done, how to do it, and community at different milestones. Don’t get a project, work on it, then wait until the end to see if it’s what is expected. Get a clear idea before, do some work, check in with management along the way, finish project.

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oddis500 (Nov 8, 2017 - 9:36 pm)

What makes you think he was discriminated against? You know not every workplace issue is discrimination.

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aknas (Nov 9, 2017 - 9:28 am)

It is legally impossible to discriminate against a white male.

The eastern European immigrant element is quasi-colorable. This factual element may give preference as a job applicant, but might not give protection during the employment tenure.

Good luck with the performance improvement plan. It takes 5 years and $500,000 in legal fees to try to fire a federal employee.

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porochi (Nov 9, 2017 - 11:27 pm)

"It is legally impossible to discriminate against a white male."

That is so wrong. Jesus, where'd you get that? You an atty.? If so you must have slept through Employment/Labor Law in law school or didn't take it.

It's called "reverse discrimination," Google it. I've personally handled reverse discrimination cases involving white male complainants/plaintiffs and seen them win. Big time.

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fettywap (Nov 9, 2017 - 9:55 am)

Federal employees have their own special mandatory arbitration proceeding where you have a hearing in front of a federal appellate judge, and it's pretty much pointless because he will never find in favor of the employee. Not that he has a discrimination case.

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porochi (Nov 9, 2017 - 11:23 pm)

EEO fed. atty. here. If you're thinking of telling him to file an EEOC complaint, what's the nexus between any adverse action against the employee by mgmt. and any protected class status of the employee (race, nationality, color, religion, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, exercising his EEO rights)? Sounds like mgmt. has legitimate non-discriminatory reasons for putting him on a PIP.

Simply alleging bad sh** happened to your guy because of his protected class status of (fill in the blank) doesn't make it so. Based on the bare bones facts you outlined I don't see much of a chance of a successful EEO complaint. But, if your guy files one anyway, then more bad sh** happens to him, that could be retaliation for engaging in a protected activity (filing EEO complaint) and that could be actionable. But your guy really needs to come up with more than, hey, I'm a white guy and bad sh^^ happened to me, so it must be because I'm a white guy. Tried, and failed, oh so many times in federal sector employment cases. So many times...

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onehell (Nov 10, 2017 - 12:12 pm)

True for EEOC, but what about the merit systems protection board? I would imagine the PIP in and of itself is perhaps not an "adverse action" but if it leads to demotion or removal or anything like that, I think federal employees have a general grievance procedure through MSPB based on the fact that they, unlike at-will private sector employees, have a property interest in their job (so long as they were not in a probationary period).

So while a private employer can usually do whatever it wants so long as it isn't based on protected-class, the fed gov can't terminate or demote someone who has passed their probationary period without proving just cause and due process associated with that more generally. I think that's true in the excepted service too, albeit only after a longer probationary period.

I'd play along with the PIP, but we all know it could ultimately result in an actual adverse action. Indeed, the powers that be may already be planning on it but they know they have to impose a PIP first. So I'd be using the time under the PIP to think about what kind of proof might be assembled in case an MSPB process becomes necessary later.

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clocker1 (Nov 10, 2017 - 7:47 pm)

If the above facts are true, then the person who knew that waste or fraud occurred had a duty to report it. IG complaint may preserve a reprisal issue during MSPB. If a PIP is being implemented when upper management knew or should have known what was going on, then talking about it and meeting with upper management will provide no benefit. All meetings will be documented in his employee file.

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isthisit (Nov 11, 2017 - 9:28 am)

It doesn't sound like you have a case.

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