Page 50 - Foreign Service Journal - March 2013

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50
MARCH 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
2012 AFSA ANNUAL REPORT
AFSA NEWS
Throughout 2012, AFSA’s
Labor Management staf
dealt with a wide array of
employment-related issues.
By the close of the year, we
were working on approxi-
mately 280 active individual
cases: grievances, discipline
proceedings and security
clearance issues; Diplomatic
Security, Ofce of the Inspec-
tor General and Ofce of
Civil Rights investigations;
and Benghazi Accountability
Review Board inquiries.
Counseling
Members
In addition, the LM staf
counseled thousands of
members on issues relating
to, among other things, per-
formance appraisals, promo-
tions, time-in-class/time-in-
service, tenure, assignments
(including 5/8 waivers, DS
assignment restrictions and
involuntary curtailments);
Ofce of Medical Services
issues (clearances, Post-
Traumatic Stress Disorder,
disabilities, demands for
repayment of medical bills);
and allowances, per diem,
entry-level salaries, overtime
pay, workers compensation,
debts, leave forfeiture, retire-
ment, transportation/stor-
ages, and cohabitation and
contact reporting.
Institutional Issues
The staf also worked on
institutional issues relating to
Foreign Commercial Ser-
vice consolidation; Foreign
Agricultural Service promo-
tion numbers; concerns with
Diplomatic Security’s Ofce
of Special Investigations,
including issues relating to
audio/video recording of
interviews; Senior Foreign
Service salary conversion;
Separate Maintenance Allow-
ance for foreign-born, same-
sex partners; the availability
of the job search program
for retirees at 65 years of
age with less than 20 years
of service; the department’s
policy of hiring employees at
age 58; legal protections for
employees who have been
on military leave; denial of
medical treatment at post
Labor Management:
Taking On All Issues
BY SHARON PAPP, AFSA GENERAL COUNSEL
Labor Management Staf (left to right): Staf Attorney Andrew Large, Senior
Staf Attorney Neera Parikh, Ofce Manager Christine Warren, Deputy
General Counsel Zlatana Badrich, General Counsel Sharon Papp, USAID
Senior Labor Management Advisor Douglas Broome, Labor Management
Counselor Janet Weber and Staf Attorney Raeka Safai. (Not pictured: Senior
Labor Management Advisor James Yorke)
to children of separated
parents; educational allow-
ance for children of employ-
ees on reimbursable details
at AFRICOM; waiver forms
for employees assigned to
High-Threat Tactical train-
ing; concerns relating to DS
Ready Teams whereby agents
are on-call for 30 days and
can be deployed within 24
hours notice to any post; and
issues relating to a new MED
credentialing form, to name
a few.
Off-Duty Conduct
In 2012 the State Depart-
ment proposed disciplinary
action—ranging from a fve-
day suspension to separation
for cause—against a number
of employees for of-duty
conduct that, in some cases,
it had not sought to regulate
in the past (extramarital
afairs between consent-
ing adults and the content
of employee’s personal
e-mails/texts messages/
blogs). The Grievance Board
issued several instructive
decisions relating to extra-
marital afairs. In one case,
the board found that the
department’s regulations
found in the Foreign Afairs
Manual (3 FAM 4130 and
4139.1) did not put grievant
“…on sufcient notice that he
would be subject to discipline
for extramarital sex with con-
senting women without any
aggravating factors, such as
dishonesty, intoxication, pay-
ment, exploitation, chain-of-
command issues, coworker
relations, criterion country
nationals, or the prominence
of grievant’s position.”
The board found, however,
that because grievant was
married and did not explicitly
disclose his infdelity to his
spouse, he created at least
the possibility of blackmail.
The board mitigated a three-
day suspension to a letter of
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