OCHR Daily News Wednesday, October 30, 2013 The links listed below are compiled to inform the DON HR community of news items of potential interest to them. They are not intended to substitute for newspapers or periodicals. Selection or distribution of articles does not imply endorsement. Further reproduction or distribution is subject to original copyright restrictions.
This Day in Naval History
This Month in USMC History
Status of the Navy
U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, Aviation Medicine Supervisor Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Benjamin Hernandez (foreground), from Murray, Utah, collects registration information from Lead Solo pilot Lt. Cmdr. Dave Tickle, from Birmingham, Ala., for the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program during the squadron's first drive as a marrow donor registry facility.
Federal Register ď‚ˇ
Office of Personnel Management - Submission for Review: SF-15 Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference - Hispanic Council on Federal Employment - Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program: Expanding Coverage of Children; Federal Flexible Benefits Plan: Pre-Tax Payment of Health Benefits Premiums: Conforming Amendments
House Backs Bill to Cut VA Bonuses Democrat-sponsored legislation would cap performance award budget at $345 million annually
Lead Contractor Urged More Testing on HealthCare.gov Congress vs the President: Who Should Make the Calls on NSA? Will Corruption Force U.S. Troops to Abandon Afghanistan? Senators Begin Scrutinizing Homeland Security Nominee HealthCare.gov’s Early Flaws Revealed, 1 Glitch Fixed, Blame the Contractors and Other News Committee Advances Contractor Suspension and Debarment Reforms Senate Republicans Preview Budget Conference House Passes Bill to Speed Up VA Claims Appeals Process The Perils of Breaking Promises to Employees Your Chance to Meet Bold Leaders and Expand Your Network
HR/EEO Related Federal Agencies
The White House
Seeking Comments on the Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework Hurricane Sandy: Recovery Efforts One Year Later
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission News
Toys"R"Us Will Pay $35,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Toys"R"Us, Inc., one of the world's largest retailers of toys and juvenile products, will pay $35,000 and provide significant equitable relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today. According to the EEOC's suit, after Shakirra Thomas applied for a team member position at the retailer's Columbia, Md., store, Toys"R"Us contacted her and requested that she attend a group interview. The EEOC said that when Thomas's mother told Toys"R"Us that Thomas was deaf and requested that it provide an interpreter for the interview, the retailer said that Thomas would have to provide her own interpreter for the interview. Thomas communicates by using American Sign Language, reading lips and through the written word. According to the lawsuit, Thomas's mother interpreted for her during a group interview, but the retailer refused to hire Thomas despite her qualifications and ability to perform the team member position, with or without a reasonable accommodation. Disability discrimination in employment violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which provides that employers provide reasonable accommodations where necessary to individuals with disabilities, including to applicants.
Merit Systems Protection Board
Deborah K. Massey, Appellant, v. Department of the Army, Agency.
The appellant was a Nurse (Clinical/Medical-Surgical), GS-0610-10, at the agency’s Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH) in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.. She was removed for medical inability to perform the duties of her position. Id. She had been employed with the agency for over 21 years,but in November 2011, submitted medical documentation stating that she suffered from a chronic respiratory disorder triggered by the phenols found in the cleaning solutions and solvents used in the hospital. She agreed to a fitness for duty examination, and the examiner concluded that she would be unable to meet the physical requirements of her position unless the agency could eliminate her exposure to those chemicals and to other fumes and fragrances. The agency subsequently removed her for medical inability to perform the duties of her position.* The appellant has petitioned for review of an initial decision affirming the agency’s removal action and finding that she failed to prove her affirmative defense of disability discrimination. For the reasons set forth below, we GRANT the appellant’s petition and VACATE the initial decision IN PART. We REVERSE the agency’s removal action and AFFIRM the administrative judge’s finding that the agency did not discriminate against the appellant based on disability.
Office of Special Counsel
OSC Gets Relief for Veteran whose Employment Preference Rights were Violated A veteran whose employment preference rights were violated is receiving a settlement of nearly $29,000 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), under a settlement reached by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC). The agency suspended the supervisor for fourteen days, seven of them served immediately and seven held in abeyance, subject to acceptable conduct. The employee was a “10 point veteran” under the system that awards employment preference points to veterans who are disabled or served on active duty during certain periods. Despite this status, the supervisor encouraged the veteran to withdraw his application, telling him he would be eligible for other, attractive openings if he withdrew. The supervisor then selected an acquaintance, who was not a veteran, for the job.
Washington DC News Sources Early Bird - Current News Service Washington Post
In wake of shutdown, veterans’ committee leaders call for advance VA funding A bipartisan group of lawmakers from Congress’s Veterans’ Affairs committees are pushing legislation to advance appropriations to all VA programs.
House approves bill to limit awards for VA employees The bipartisan measure, which passed unanimously, would reduce bonuses by about 13 percent.
Okla. abortion-law case ready for Supreme Court review
That state’s high court says a new law would ban medication abortions, setting up a Supreme Court review.
In the Loop: The watchdogs are with us VA bristled at Loop criticism of its spending. Now it can bristle at the House oversight panel.
Issa slams VA; VA slams The Loop
A new House oversight committee report finds a “culture of mismanagement and reckless spending” at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Trouble for Mel Watt’s nomination?
Conservative Club for Growth reminding them that it’s closely watching the vote on the nominee to head the Federal Housing Financing Agency.
WTOP Federal News Radio
Mike Causey’s Federal Report: Furlough fever: Sell low, buy high If you are a federal worker, did you raid your retirement fund, or sell low and buy high during the government shutdown? Senior Correspondent Mike Causey wants to know: Was it prudent or panic behavior to flee the stock market before and during the shutdown?
Will new budget negotiations unravel the sequestration riddle? 2014 COLA to rise 1.5 percent VanRoekel offers silver lining in HealthCare.gov debacle Open Season - Medicare Q&A
Federal Times Online
Five officials left VA in wake of conference fallout TSP withdrawals spiked during shutdown Federal CIO: Healthcare.gov a 'teachable moment' for agencies British man charged with infiltrating military, civilian networks
Sen. McCain questions TSA on treatment of disabled passengers The Arizona Republican is demanding answers from TSA Administrator John Pistole.
Marines’ Move to Guam in Question Four of the congressional panel’s five planned hearings will focus on China and U.S. efforts to deal with Beijing’s growing influence and military build-up.
Should White House Interns Be Paid?
It’s time to start compensating White House interns for the work they do.
Federal Workers Looked To Retirement Savings To Make It Through Shutdown, Reports Show
The government shutdown prompted an increased number of federal employees to withdraw money from their retirement investments.
Ohio Law Firms Lined Up To Defend IRS Employees The federal government has hired two major Cincinnati law firms to defend Internal Revenue Service employees in one of the lawsuits arising from targeting of conservative groups.
TSA Changes After Knife-Ban Reversal Voted by House Panel
The Transportation Security Administration will have to consult with industry groups on decisions like its short-lived move to end the ban on knives aboard airplanes, under a bill the House advanced today.
Hill Aides Can Quietly Stay Off Health Exchanges
Congressional offices this week have been forced into a frenzied, late-hour scramble to decide which of their staffers will be pushed onto the District of Columbia’s health insurance exchanges and which will be able to keep their current health insurance plans.
New Batch of NSA Docs Declassified
The Obama administration declassified a new batch of National Security Agency documents the same day the top Democratic senator on the intelligence committee vowed to conduct a top-to-bottom review of U.S. spying programs.
Coburn Blasts Congress For ‘Trashing’ National Parks
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Tuesday released an oversight report blasting Congress for its “greed” and “short-sighted policy making” when handling the National Park Service.
BLS: Gov’t Workers ‘Absent’ 50% More Than Private-Sector Workers A government worker is 38 percent more likely to be absent from work for personal reasons or illnesses than a private-sector worker, and government workers miss 50 percent more of their usual work hours as a result of such absences than do private sector workers, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Obamacare Site Has Another Outage The data hub behind the Obamacare website was “experiencing an outage” on Tuesday night, state and federal officials said, prohibiting customers from submitting new applications.
House Passes Bill Cutting Bonuses at VA
The House voted Monday to approve a measure to slash bonuses for workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs by at least 14 percent, as the agency continues to face criticism over its backlog of disability claims.
‘Critical Failures’ Lead to Social Security Overpayments
DoD personnel chief: New job-specific physical standards being drafted
Opening up the combat arms career fields for women will result in a new array of job-specific physical standards that will apply to both men and women, the Pentagon's top personnel and readiness official said Tuesday.
Food stamp usage levels off at commissaries
News From Around the World/Outside DC New York Times
Military Families Who Want to Home-School Their Children Find Support
Wall Street Journal
The Most Powerful Person in the Office
The job of executive assistants can be thankless, but the corporate world's schedulers and gatekeepers have a profound effect on the executives they serve.
Women, Work and the 'Girl Scout Tax'
When asked, do you do favors for colleagues and managers? Are you eternally happy to help? A can-do attitude may harm a woman's progress in the workplace, writes author Sharon Meers.
Career Makeover: Stepping Up to Lead
It is easy to get pigeonholed at work. Breaking out is much harder.
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot Navy to hold aircraft emergency drill at Dam Neck Destroyer Gravely helps with rescue in Mediterranean
San Diego Union-Tribune
Marine Corps Ball slated for Saturday
The ball, an old tradition, marks the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
Stars & Stripes
$500M littoral ship's departure delayed again by maintenance issue Best in Texas: List spotlights best cities with jobs for veterans Two hospitals quit Tricare pilot project for retirees in Philippines Top Army officer says cuts would impact missions Lawmakers push for 100 percent advance funding for VA US wants Asia partners to strengthen their militaries Korea snags two pot shipments through military mail In South Korea, SOFA concerns leave same-sex military spouse benefits in limbo
Navy/Military News Services/House Organs
Navy Pay, Personnel Services Align with NPC Princeton Concludes Theater Security Cooperation and Maritime Presence Deployment Naval History, Military Education Advocate Dies at 81
Wright: Diversity Contributes to DOD’s Success
The Defense Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion contribute to mission success and must remain a consistent effort, the Pentagon’s chief personnel and readiness official said today. Jessica L. Wright, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, discussed best practices for diversity and inclusion at an event hosted by The German Marshall Fund of the United States event.
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY MESSAGE 2013
FOR 238 YEARS, THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS HAS PROUDLY SERVED OUR GREAT NATION WITH UNFAILING VALOR BOLSTERED BY THE ENDURING FORTITUDE OF OUR FELLOW MARINES, OUR FAMILIES, AND OUR FRIENDS. THIS IS WHY EACH YEAR ON NOVEMBER 10TH, MARINES FROM ALL GENERATIONS GATHER TOGETHER, IN GROUPS LARGE AND SMALL, TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTHDAY OF OUR CORPS AND TO REFLECT ON THE PROUD LEGACY AND WARRIOR ETHOS WE SHARE. THIS IS WHAT UNITES US AS MARINES. FROM OUR FIRST BATTLE AT NEW PROVIDENCE TO TODAY IN AFGHANISTAN, MARINES HAVE ALWAYS SHOWN THAT THEY WERE MADE OF TOUGHER STUFF - THAT WHEN THE ENEMY'S FIRE POURED IN FROM ALL ANGLES, AND THE SITUATION WAS GRIM, MARINES UNEQUIVOCALLY KNEW THAT THEIR FELLOW MARINES WOULD STAY BEHIND THEIR GUNS, FIGHT COURAGEOUSLY, AND DRIVE THE ENEMY FROM THE BATTLEFIELD. WE HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN HARDSHIP, FATIGUE, AND PAIN ... BUT WE HAVE NEVER KNOWN WHAT IT IS TO LOSE A BATTLE!
Other Sources Federal Computer Week
Extroverts, introverts and GSA's new office The General Services Administration promotes its workplace transformation, aimed at encouraging collaboration and mobility, as the latest stage in the evolution of the modern workplace – open, non-hierarchical, designed with teamwork in mind. And while GSA is quick to stress that there are 232 private rooms in the new workspace, with more than 150 that can be reserved easily and 80 that don't require reservations, the whole idea is to knock down walls, make cubicles a thing of the past and fling open the doors to the office of tomorrow.
DFAS says Roth TSP now available for National Guard, reserve
Reserve and National Guard members now can start and manage Roth Thrift Savings Plan contributions.
Open Season: Tackling this year's decisions It's time again for that annual ritual: Federal benefits open season. From now through early December, Federal Daily will present a series of weekly, information-packed columns to help you sort through this year's health care and health savings options.
Fitness program benefits pregnant servicewomen
The Army Public Health Command reports that a physical training program instituted several years ago to help servicewomen bolster their physical condition during and after pregnancy is generating positive results.