Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Trump Shutdown Update #2


The latest furlough notice that I just acknowledged does not have a requirement of 15-minutes "excepted" work to check emails. Either that fight I had with DC and my dear supervisor (sorry) was irrelevant or it paid off.

Although, it leaves me even more depressed to be cut-off, shut-out, and furloughed completely. There is an HR contact, so I think I will request retirement papers to make sure they can be processed as soon as humanly possible considering the inhumanity of indefinite furloughs with the bare hope of restored pay, someday. . . .


Subject:  Written Notice of Second Furlough Decision

The uninterrupted and unforeseeable absence of either a Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) appropriation, or a continuing resolution for the Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor, prevents DOI from incurring further financial obligations, except for those related to performance of excepted duties, functions, and activities as defined in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies dated November 17, 1981. Because you are not performing excepted duties during the continuing lapse in appropriations, you will remain in a nonduty and nonpay furlough status, beginning and effective at 12:00 a.m. on January 21, 2019, for a period not expected to exceed thirty (30) days. This second furlough notice will accordingly expire at 12:00 a.m. on February 20, 2019. If the length of the current lapse in appropriations for DOI has caused a new contingency to arise relevant to your work, please contact your supervisor or another excepted supervisor/employee for guidance on how to proceed.

During this second furlough period, you may not work at your workplace or other alternative worksite unless and until recalled. You will not be permitted to work as an unpaid volunteer. Any paid leave (annual, sick, court, etc…) approved for use during this second furlough period is cancelled.

Please continue to monitor public broadcasts and the Internet, including but not limited to DOI.gov, for information and public notices relevant to any FY19 appropriation or continuing resolution for DOI passed by Congress and signed by the President. You will be expected to return to regular duty on your next work day immediately after the end of the lapse in appropriations. 
Unforeseeable circumstances, related to the continuing lapse in DOI appropriations and curtailment of work activities, compel this second furlough action and prevent advance notification. As a result, regulatory language found at 5 C.F.R. § 752.404(d)(2) does not require the customary advance written notice and opportunity to answer. The unforeseeable circumstances also authorize the DOI to shorten or waive the 30 day-advance written notice otherwise required by 5 CFR 359.806(a) for Senior Executive Service (SES) career appointees (other than reemployed annuitants).

If employees are working full-time or intermittently in your competitive level or competitive area, they are performing exempt or excepted duties defined in the OMB memorandum. DOI Bureaus have received information encouraging issuance of this notice to all employees, even though individuals who are performing exempt or excepted duties on a full-time basis might not be impacted by this written notice.

Employees in the competitive service who have completed a probationary period, trial period, or 1 year of current continuous employment in the competitive service under other than a temporary appointment may appeal this action to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Employees in the excepted service who have veterans preference may appeal to the MSPB if they have completed 1 year of current continuous service in the same or similar position as the one they now hold. Employees in the excepted service who do not have veterans preference may appeal to the MSPB if: 1) they are not serving a probationary or trial period under an initial appointment pending conversion to the competitive service; or b) they have completed 2 years of current continuous service in the same or similar positions in an Executive agency under other than a temporary appointment limited to 2 years or less. Career SES appointees (except reemployed annuitants) who believe that the requirements of 5 CFR part 359, subpart H, or DOI procedures have not been correctly applied may also appeal to MSPB.

If you have the right of appeal to the MSPB and wish to appeal this action to the MSPB, you must file the appeal within 30 calendar days after January 21, 2019, or 30 days after the date on which you receive this written notice, whichever is later. If you wish to file an appeal, you may obtain information about the appeals process and a copy of the appeals form from the MSPB website at: http://www.mspb.gov/appeals/appeals.htm.

The MSPB requires an appeal to be filed with the MSPB regional or field office serving the area where your duty station is/was located when the DOI took this action. Based upon your duty station, the appropriate field office can be determined from the attached listing of MSPB Regional and Field Offices. MSPB also offers the option of electronic filing at https://eappeal.mspb.gov/. Employees have a right to representation in this matter and may be represented by an attorney or other person of their choosing. However, management has the right to disallow as your representative an employee whose activities as representative would cause a conflict of interest or position, or an employee whose release from his or her official position to fulfill the representation would result in unreasonable costs or whose priority work assignments preclude his or her release.

Bargaining unit employees may file a grievance concerning this action in accordance with the applicable negotiated collective bargaining agreement, or may appeal to the MSPB in accordance with the procedures outlined above, but not both. To obtain information on filing a grievance under the negotiated grievance procedure, contact your local union official or your bureau/office’s servicing Human Resources Office. The DOI’s administrative grievance procedures specifically exclude matters appealable to the MSPB. For specific information, contact your bureau/office servicing Human Resources Office.

You may seek corrective action before the Office of Special Counsel, www.osc.gov. However, if you do so, your appeal to the MSPB will be limited to whether the Agency took one or more covered personnel actions against you in retaliation for making protected whistleblowing disclosures. You will be forgoing the right to otherwise challenge this furlough.

If you believe that you have been unlawfully discriminated against, you may contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of the effective date of this action to file a complaint of discrimination. Please note that, in accordance with 29 C.F.R. §1614.302, you may not initially file both a mixed case EEO complaint and a MSPB appeal on the same matter; whichever is filed first shall be considered an election to proceed in that forum.

Attached is the SF-8, Notice to Federal Employee about Unemployment Insurance. Additional information about unemployment insurance is available at http://www.servicelocator.org/OWSLinks.asp

We recognize the difficult financial implications of this second furlough. We will make every effort to keep you informed as additional information regarding the DOI funding level becomes available. If you have questions, contact ______________.
Appealing to MSPB would do no good, in my humble opinion.*

*This is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied upon in any way, shape, or form. Just forget about it.

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