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Private Sector and Federal Employee Law Blog

How to recognize signs of sexual harassment in the workplace

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Sexual harassment is something no worker should ever have to experience. Unfortunately, it happens in workplaces all over the country.

It can be difficult to identify sexual harassment. Victims may feel helpless and embarrassed - and they may question what they are experiencing is truly sexual harassment.

What, exactly, does sexual harassment in the workplace look like? What behaviors are considered sexual harassment?

Appealing a revoked security clearance

Working for the federal government in Washington, D.C., may provide you with many opportunities not available in the private sector. However, if your security clearance has been revoked, you could be facing a number of serious consequences. We at Alan Lescht & Associates, P.C., have often assisted clients in the appeals process following a revoked security clearance.

You will receive a statement that explains why your security clearance was revoked. In order to get it reinstated, you must challenge the revocation decision, and there is a deadline. In most cases, this is between 15 and 30 days after you receive the notice, so you should not delay in preparing your response. Your approach to the appeal will vary based on the reason given to you for the denial, as well as other factors.

How to recognize signs of age discrimination in the workplace

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In a perfect world, employees would be hired and evaluated based on their knowledge, skills, and work ethic. Unfortunately this doesn't always happen. Discrimination in its many forms can make for a toxic work environment - affecting the victim of discrimination as well as other employees and the workplace as a whole.

Why the EPA could be federal workers' ground zero

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The Government Accountability Project might be busier now than ever before. The organization backs whistleblowers. In recent days, it has dealt with an influx of concerns and questions brought to them by federal workers facing the Trump administration. Take acting Attorney General Sally Yates' firing as a prime example of the bad that can happen for refusing to follow executive orders.

Yates had ordered the DOJ not to defend Trump's immigration ban. Trump fired Yates that same night. As Politico reports - and as you'd expect - the largest group of federal workers who've called the Government Accountability Project are those who "want to know what to do if they're asked to violate the law."

On that note, we turn our attention to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Was your disciplinary action legal?

If you do not follow your employer’s policies and procedures, you may be at risk of a disciplinary action, or even termination. However, even if you make a serious mistake or fail to meet the Washington, D.C., company’s standards, your employer has both internal and federal guidelines for the corrective action that may be taken. If these are violated, any action taken against you may warrant a formal complaint and investigation.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you have the right to report discrimination based on protected characteristics such as race, pregnancy, gender identity, disability, skin color and religion. If your employer disciplines or terminates you because you exercised this right, the action may be considered illegal if you can prove that this was the motivation.

Are federal workers just faceless bureaucrats?

"Federal employees support our troops stateside and abroad, fight crime and terrorism and protect our borders. They combat forest fires, inspect our roads and bridges and ensure our aviation system is the safest in the world. They guard and enhance our national parks and lands, guarantee seniors receive their Social Security benefits and process and deliver mail to every address in every type of weather."

The answer to the question posed in the title of this post is an emphatic "No!"

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Kori Keller, in an opinion published on The Hill, laments President Trump's executive order that put a hiring freeze on federal workers. We've covered this in our handy infographic on the hiring freeze, but Keller makes a few interesting points, such as that federal workers represent only 1.9 percent of the national workforce. And, contrary to Trump's rhetoric about "draining the swamp," these 1.9 percent of federal workers aren't just in D.C. - they're all over the country performing vital functions.

Sharing employment information may be legal

The obligations of an employer and employee should be absolutely clear in the contract signed. Even so, there may be gray areas that leave a person wondering if an action may violate the terms that have been agreed to. Reading the fine print and scouring the clauses for vague language may provide the answer, but if an issue such as confidentiality is not mentioned, the employer’s rights in holding the employee accountable may not be valid.

Millions of people in the United States have participated in protests over the first week of Donald Trump’s presidency, but not all of these have involved marching the streets holding signs. A website providing an organizational tool for social media accounts is asking employees in the tech industry to participate by taking pictures of their employment contracts and sending the information to the founder of that company.

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  • AV Preeminent
  • AVVO | Newsweek
  • Bloomberg BNA | Law 360 | Government Executive
  • Ten Leaders | WUSA 90
  • SuperLawyers | Univision
  • Washingtonian | abc7 | The Washington Post
  • Lead Counsel Rated
  • Top Rated Lawyers AV | ThreeBest Rated
I have been a litigator for close to 20 years and Alan is most certainly one of the best attorneys I have ever come across.
Mr. Lescht is an excellent Trial Lawyer, He is calm, cool, and collected.
I also appreciated Alan's frankness and his ability to identify what is important and what is not when going through a case like this.
I would highly recommend Alan to anyone who needs an exceptional and incredibly talented Employment Attorney.
Mr. Lescht is an extraordinarily responsive attorney, returning my emails and phone calls within minutes. I would absolutely recommend him to anyone who thinks they may need a lawyer. Definitely incredible work.
I was impressed with his knowledge and professionalism, and I will always be grateful for his guidance.

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