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Old 02-16-2016, 01:10 PM
sstabeler sstabeler is offline
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Quoth cindybubbles View Post
Can they demote the people who fired the OP so that they would now be the OP's underlings?

If so, it would be interesting to see how that plays out, especially if OP is the boss and not one of them can go over OP's head to complain.
to be honest, that's the kind of thing best kept a fantasy. Too much temptation for the previous underling to abuse their new position. (that, and there's too many ways for said former boss to be able to undermine the OP in such an event- I can think of two basic methods off the top of my head (deliberately not doign their job properly in some way that makes the OP look bad, and attempting to undermine the OP through a whispering campaign- like, for example, suggesting the complaint was actually because the OP wanted their job.(or, of course, not squashing such rumours if they come up)- we know that isn't true, but the OP's subordinates probably wouldn't.)

That, and how do we know the OP would be properly trained for the job if they were promoted to be the guy's superior?

Do be aware, by the way, that while you might not want to have to fight an appeal, if the case receives significant media attention- I'm talking locally here, since I doubt national media would be interested- then it's entirely possible that public opinion forces them to abandon any appeal. Not to mention that with a case as shoddy as they have, any appeal may well be short. (the cases that drag on are usually ones where there is an actual possible point of contention. Since their arguments are so weak- IIRC, their arguments were that if you are in the NG, you should have to resign each time you are called up to benefit from laws protecting serving members of the military- any appeal may well be chucked out almost immediately.

What I am saying, basically, is be careful not to overestimate how long an appeal would actually last. Off the top of my head, if it is an appeal to actual courts, on so weak a case, I would give a 50-50 chance of the judge having difficulty believing that it even got in front of him.(and do remember judges don't usually like it if they think someone is wasting their time)

Old 02-16-2016, 01:11 PM
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EricKei EricKei is offline
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Congrats! ^_^ Glad to see this is finally calming down, and coming down in your favor.

I'll basically echo what the others have said --

- It's definitely worth paying an attorney a couple hundy to go over the contract. It is in their best interests to use plenty of weasel words
- Yes, they want this kept out of the media, not surprisingly -- but, let's face it, you can get an easy remedy for your real-life situation, or you can get potential vengeance through a third party that will disappear from the public eye three days after it first appears. The choice is yours
- If there's a settlement, the court records get sealed, and you will almost certainly be required to sign an NDA regarding what few matters are NOT covered by the "seal" -- So, work on the assumption that you will not even be able to discuss details with co-workers (possibly not even with your wife and definitely not with other family). As far as they're concerned, you're likely to be considered a transfer with no explanation.

I wish you continued good luck! Don't let those turkeys get you down!
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:42 PM
sstabeler sstabeler is offline
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I'd still say you should think it over carefully though- it does make me slightly suspicious they're trying to get a response back by the end of the week, since that makes me wonder if they're hoping to pull a fast one using the old salesman's trick of insisting you have less time to consider your options than you have- and I would be at least wary if the NDA prohibited you from defending yourself if the guy that got you fired started trying to trashtalk you.(what I mean is if the other guy tries to claim you sued just because you were a disgruntled employee, that you would be able to correct the rumour- something like "I can't give you details due to an NDA, but I was fired for taking legally-protected leave, which was the reason behind the complaint."

Oh, and I would also make sure you get it in writing that if this case gets brought up in a performance review- like if a manager asks you why you weren't actually at work during the period of time- you can give a basic outline ("I was fired illegally, and was later reinstated- that period is for the time between my firing and reinstatement")

Old 02-16-2016, 07:01 PM
eltf177 eltf177 is online now
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EricKei and sstabeler have made some very good points. I agree that having a lawyer help you look at all your options, make sure you're not being railroaded into a quick decision and that you have recourse if things turn sour in the future would be a very good thing...

Old 02-16-2016, 11:30 PM
Ophbalance Ophbalance is offline
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Ya'll need to recall this is .gov and not retail. Think parks and rec. It makes sense they'd want to sweep it away rather than deal with the public. That's how these untouchable folks actually lose their sometimes cushy jobs.
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:13 PM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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I just got another call from the attorney, about a couple of hours ago. She got permission to agree to the terms I had proposed. I'm meeting with her next week to sign the amended deal. Amended meaning that one of the things I asked for last week was apparently not in the deal she was prepared/authorized to offer.

As for the idea they were trying something, well. Apparently her initial permission to settle and initial offer didn't include the back pay that I was entitled to, she had to spend a few days getting permission for the back pay. Hence why I'm going in next week to sign the settlement agreement instead of this week.

The fact that I mentioned the back pay and specified it (and cited the law gave me the right to it) was something she (and her bosses in senior leadership) didn't count on. It looks like they were hoping I'd be so quick to jump on the settlement that I'd forget to ask for the back pay.

Also, when the attorney was talking to me last week, she thought I had gone back to work at my old police department, she didn't look too closely into that I guess, and if I had, then I would only be entitled to the pay that was the difference between my pay from there, which would be only a few thousand dollars.

Which makes sense, the back pay I'll be due (after taking out unemployment benefits, and the law that entitles me to back pay requires that to be taken out) is almost $30k (before taxes). I can see them wanting to slip that one by me, but I didn't let them. I wasn't about to pass that one by, as my wife and me have already agreed to use that money towards down payment on a house.

As for an NDA, if they insist on a hardline one where I can't tell anyone about anything whatsoever, I'm explaining to all my friends, family, and my leadership at the National Guard and such what's going on, so that if they insist on a hardline NDA, and I can't talk about it from here on out, they'll know what happened because I'll have told them what was happening before I signed the NDA (and they didn't mention one in the verbal negotiations we had so far, I'm just presuming they'll want one). I have discussed the basics of this settlement with an attorney I know (one of the ones who said he couldn't represent me before the board, because he doesn't know enough about protocol for administrative hearings to feel competent to do so) and that was his advice on how to handle letting people know, since they haven't asked me to sign an NDA yet and I haven't signed one yet (or been asked to sign one yet), let people know what is happening so if I DO have to sign one and shut up, people will know what happened, even if I can't talk about it anymore.

I'm not asking for anybody to be demoted, I'm not being vindictive, I'm not going to ask for anything more than what I'm due by law. I just want to go back to work, do my job, and get the back pay and seniority I am due by law.

As for trying to rush things through, I realize why. The board WILL make their final ruling on this case soon, unless I file to dismiss my appeal, so they want the settlement to come down before they can give the final ruling. Hence the pressure to settle quickly, because this all goes on the record at the next board meeting at the end of the month.

As for ensuring that my former boss can never be over me, well, I don't want to be too specific, but the details of the new assignment/posting that's in the settlement offer would make it very difficult and unlikely for him to be over me, given how the agency is set up. It gives me a work location that's rather convenient for me, and is such that my boss could never be above me unless he got promoted to VERY high in the agencies chain of command, and after this mess and how much he's costing them to sweep it under the rug, I doubt him getting that many promotions will happen (also, given the protections I would have, going back as an employee off my probationary period, his ability to directly harm me would be limited even if he did get that high up, for him to make any serious personnel action against me would have to go back before the same board I'm appealing to right now).

As for my co-workers knowing what's up. My new supervisor at least would have to know I'm not just another transfer. . .I wouldn't have a badge, gun, handcuffs (and all my old user accounts on various databases ect. are certainly deactivated now) ect and would have to get all that stuff issued to me. He'd have to know *something* was up that this guy is showing up, off probationary status, personnel paperwork giving me a couple of years of seniority, but without any equipment or user accounts or anything else.

A guy at my National Guard unit is a part of the same agency, albeit in a different division than the one I was at. He said he hasn't heard anything about my case in the rumor mill, but his theory is that what happened with me will probably be in the supervisor training modules for decades under "Don't do this to someone!" because of how much the back pay will cost them. Seriously, my former bosses mistake is costing them a nice five-figure sum, and we're facing some tough budget conditions and cuts right now.

We're filing out taxes later this week, so we're going to talk to our tax preparer about how this can affect things (i.e. will this settlement count as income for last year and we'll need to file an amended return, or will it count on this year so we'll just deal with it next year, ect).

Old 02-17-2016, 10:55 PM
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notalwaysright notalwaysright is offline
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Wow. Congrats again. Although I didn't figure you would sign anything without fully understanding what you were signing, it's good that your lawyer you paid attention and got you what you deserve. I agree that it's a shame that the whole issue won't be made public, but I also would do the same thing if I were you and just try to move on.
Replace anger management with stupidity management.

Last edited by notalwaysright; 02-17-2016 at 10:57 PM. Reason: Re-read post!

Old 02-17-2016, 11:33 PM
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Kogarashi Kogarashi is offline
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Quoth silverstaff View Post
I'm not asking for anybody to be demoted, I'm not being vindictive, I'm not going to ask for anything more than what I'm due by law. I just want to go back to work, do my job, and get the back pay and seniority I am due by law.
I do think this is the best approach. Sure, vindictiveness can feel good, getting "back" at the person who initially wronged you, but unless you're guaranteed as good an outcome for you and your family that way, it's best to go with the route you're taking.

And good on you catching that they weren't giving you the back pay initially. Do make sure you're getting everything you're due by law. Don't let them cheat you out of it by pressuring you.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:50 PM
Catwoman2965 Catwoman2965 is offline
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I'm not any kind of tax expert, but I believe taxes would apply WHEN you receive whatever settlement it is you're getting, regardless of whether it would have been considered prior year income. But if you receive it in 2016, it would be considered taxable income in this year, and not affect your last year's taxes. But I could be totally off base here, so I def would recommend talking to a professional.

Old 02-18-2016, 05:02 PM
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taxguykarl taxguykarl is offline
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Quoth silverstaff View Post
[W]ill this settlement count as income for last year and we'll need to file an amended return
Probably not, as you did not receive that income last year.
In general, settlements are taxable. After all, the underlying legal theory boils down to: income that would have been received but for an illegal action.
Quoth silverstaff View Post
[W]ill it count on this year so we'll just deal with it next year, ect).
More likely; I recommend making an estimated tax payment once you get the check. Keep in mind that the legal fee is also deductible as it would be to acquire income. Yes, you may PM me for details.
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