DID YOU KNOW?? (Workers Compensation)

(click here for:) TURNER E.E.O. DECISION

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Federal EEOC judge exposes her experiences with the EEOC, particularly after she waged charges against them for discrimination she ended with a case against her and the specter of disbarment. .
EEOC Judges sues EEOC


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Date: Friday, December 4, 2009

To: Eric S. Daniels, Assistant Director for Labor and Employment Law

From: Michael A. Castelle, Sr., NFPC/CPL-#33

Subject: U.S. Department of Justice's Department Merit Promotion Policy


Dear: Mr. Daniels or Representative:

The Council of Prison Locals has reviewed your proposed chapter addition titled "Department of Justice Human Resources Order, DOJ 1200.1 Merit Promotion Plan. We are encouraged that the Department recognizes the fact that the Merit Promotion Policy needs to be improved for a fairer outcome. However, as a Union we have one major concern with this draft as presented. The Council of Prison Locals is concerned that the Federal Bureau of Prisons has an ingrained culture of "Cronyism" that exists among all levels of management in the Agency. Each specific Bureau of Prisons Institution already operates under its own autonomy, which is somewhat problematic for the Union. Wardens "Selecting Officials" GS-15/SES can without consequence disregard any and all mutually agreed upon appropriate arrangements signed off on at the highest level of the Agency between the parties.

Because the Director has distanced himself from his responsibility to address these concerns in the field he has appointed designees in the Labor Law Branch/ Labor Management Branch of the Agency to address these issue. However, his designee has no enforceable authority over any Warden in the field to correct any alleged wrong doing on a Warden's behalf.

Henceforth, a consistent perpetuation of the problem has occurred, and no one in main Justice has listened to our concerns or honored any rights of the Union for having credibility in regards to our allegations of wrong doing by Agency's Managers, which also constitute a Prohibited Personnel Practice.

One example would be the Warden "Selecting Official," at United States Penitentiary, Atwater Ca., failed to enforce the Agency's security protocols for inmate housing assignments, reduction in contraband distribution in the facility by inmates, reduction in preventing the manufacturing of homemade weapons in the facility by inmates, etc. These combined factors ultimately resulted in and contributed to the murder of Correctional Officer Jose Rivera, a bargaining unit employee.

The only consequences to the Warden at the facility was a reassignment to another facility as a Warden. Reassignments of Wardens are a common practice in the Agency and is not considered corrective action or discipline. Now, with the implementation of this proposal, it will bring increased cronyism in the BOP and lower staff morale. The perpetrator of this action will have complete impunity from any consequences for bypassing the Merit Promotion procedures in any manner. I can assure you that the Agency does not have a watch dog system in place to correct any wrong doing by any selecting official regarding the Merit Promotion process from this writer's observations.

I can also assure you that any input the Union may have in the Merit Promotion System in the Federal Bureau of Prisons will be totally ignored by management at the highest levels of the Agency. At least it has been this Union Activist experience that the Agency believes it is exempt from honoring the American with Disabilities Act. This is based on a false concept that the Agency is inherently Law Enforcement. However, there is no such provision in Title VII for a Law Enforcement exemption to disregard the rights of those having a bona fide disability.

The Agency does not actively investigate allegations of discrimination as a Standard of Employees Conduct Violation or a Prohibited Personnel Practice violation, or any wrong doing on the behalf of the alleged perpetrators of discrimination. The Agency only investigates claims of discrimination, e.g., none selection, racism, gender bias, etc, in accordance with 29 CFR § 1614.108 "EEO Investigation". Which resulted from an aggrieved party filing a formal complaint of discrimination. The Agency’s unspoken cronyism system forbids any acknowledgment of wrong doing unless it is so blatant it cannot be hidden under the bureaucracy of the Agency or ignored by the public at large.

The Union also acknowledges the fact that you may also implement this program unilaterally. However, we have expressed our concerns as to why we believe this Merit Promotion proposal if implemented will cause more harm to the bargaining unit employees in the Federal Bureau of Prisons than any potential good.

Nonetheless, I am referencing the following in regards to your proposed addition to the Merit Promotion Policy which the Council of Prison Locals believes violation the parties collective bargaining agreement:

In accordance with the collective bargaining agreement between the Council of Prison Locals and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, ARTICLE 33 - MERIT PROMOTION.

The Merit Promotion plan is herein incorporated as part of this Agreement. These proposed procedures will not be changed, to the extent they are negotiable, for the life of this Agreement except in writing and in accordance with Article 42.



Section a. This Agreement will take effect upon completion of the Union ratification and Agency head review process in accordance with 5 USC, Section 7114(c).

Section b. This Agreement will be in full force and effective for three (3) years from the effective date, but may be extended in one (1) year increments thereafter by mutual consent of the parties. Written notice may be given by either party to the other not less than sixty (60) days but not more than ninety (90) days prior to the expiration date that it desires to amend the Agreement. In the event notice is given, the parties will begin negotiating within thirty (30) days. If negotiations are not completed by the expiration date, the Agreement will be automatically extended until a new Agreement is mutually agreed upon/approved.

Section c. If neither party desires to renegotiate this Agreement, the parties will execute new signatures and date.

Section d. Amendments to this Agreement may be negotiated at any time by mutual agreement of the parties. The Agreement will be reopened upon the request of either party to revise or amend as required by new laws or regulations of appropriate higher authorities.

At the end of the eighteenth month following enactment of this Agreement, either party may request to reopen the Agreement at which time each party may select no more than two (2) articles for renegotiation. Any revisions or amendments will remain in force for the remainder of the Agreement. Local supplemental agreements may be reopened by mutual agreement of the parties at the local level.

Pursuant to the parties collective bargaining agreement the implementation of the proposed chapter addition must be negotiated. Therefore, a unilateral implementation will be in violation of the parties collective bargaining agreement.

In additional there is also a provision in the parties collective bargaining agreement Article 6 - Rights of the Employees, Section (b)(2) "to be treated fairly and equitably in all aspects of personnel management. In the section of DOJ's proposed change to the Merit Promotion Policy (3) Delegation, (f) Selecting Officials, are the individuals designate to make selection decisions with a high degree of autonomy, authority and responsibility. Giving autonomy with little or no oversight to the selection official will only promote a strong cronyism network in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

It is the Union's belief the autonomy of the selecting officials in the Federal Bureau of Prisons will create more incidents of pre-selection which is already occurring in the agency with the established complete impunity for the selecting official. Presently, in the Federal Bureau of Prisons when the predetermined applicants already targeted by the selecting officials fails to apply timely and misses the closing date for the announced position, the selecting official simply extends the closing date. When violations are reported to management at a higher level there is nothing done pro actively on the Agency's behalf to discourage this practice.

The only challenge comes when an applicant initiates a formal EEO Complaint. Please note that there is a Class Action EEO Complaint for reprisals presently pending against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. This does not suggest any wrong doing officially, however it does suggest there are enough that do believe it. This perception becomes reality for all those aggrieved parties in the Class Action.

The Council of Prison Locals has reported numerous Prohibited Personnel Practices on the behalf of selection officials to the head of the Agency and his designees with no avail. The Council of Prison Locals believes there is an ingrained methodology of cronyism with upper management in the BOP that refuses to believe in any wrong doing on the Agency's behalf.

Please review the case below for one of many examples:

Anita M. Bryant, Complainant, v. Alberto

Gonzales, Attorney General, Department

of Justice, (Bureau of Prisons), Agency

Equal Employment Opportunity

Commission-OFOAppeal No. 0120063570

Agency No. P-2005-0276

The selecting official at the Federal Correctional Complex Butner, North Carolina (Low) Institution during this time frame discriminated against an African American Female based on her race and gender. This selection Officials affidavit was inconsistent with the affidavit of the Supervisory Investigation Agency assigned to the institution at the time of the discrimination and the summary judgment before an EEOC Administrative Law Judge. The AJ concluded that the selecting official was not creditable and therefore made a ruling in favor of the aggrieved party. The present Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons did not investigate the selecting officials for any alleged misconduct for giving false statements which is a violation of the agency’s Program Statement 13420.09, Standards of Employees Conduct.

Therefore, once again illustrating that the selecting officials are above the Agency's policies based on cronyism and can without consequences violate the rights of their subordinate employees. This proposed change in the Merit Promotion Policy will only make a bad situation worse. Similarly situated to the "FOX" watching the "Hen House." There is no proactive check and balance system established for the Agency's Merit Promotion System of cronyism.


Nevertheless, within the two year reckoning period this GS-15 selecting official at FCC Butner (Low) Institution was promoted to a SES position in the BOP's Central Office, Washington, D.C. Your proposed addition to the Merit Promotion Policy will increase the likelihood of more Prohibited Personnel Practice violations in the BOP because of the lack of oversight and the barriers management puts up against the Union not being able to review the promotion boards centrally located at Grand Prairie, Texas.

The implementation of this proposed Merit Promotion Policy would create more problems at the Grand Prairies, Texas, facility, with Merit Promotions. In the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Human Resources Officers assigned to the institutions presently claim they cannot gain access to promotion boards because they are not on site. This matter is already a direct violation of the parties collective bargaining agreement, hence several grievances have been filed on none selection and other alleged wrong doings to the Agency's Merit Promotion Process. These issues must be corrected before you enhance the Merit Promotion Policy in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Management in the Federal Bureau of Prisons has not worked well with the Union under the present administration in the White House, who should be a little more Union friendly. We are in a status quo ante holding pattern, as if the Bush Administration was still in the White House.

The Council of Prison Locals believes that based on your proposed change to the Merit Promotion Policy it will result in numerous violations to the parties collective bargaining agreement, but not limited to Article 22 - Equal Employment Opportunity:


Section a. The Employer and the Union agree to cooperate in providing equal opportunity for all qualified persons; to prohibit unlawful discrimination because of age, sex, race, religion, color, national origin or physical handicap; and to promote full realization of equal opportunity through a positive and continuing effort. The Union agrees to become a positive force in this endeavor and to become a partner with the Employer in the exploration and implementation of ideas and programs whereby equal employment opportunities will be achieved.

Section b. The Employer and the Union will continue to cooperate in supporting all affirmative action programs.

1. in order to fulfill the goals in Sections a. and b. of this article, the Council of Prison Locals will be entitled to send one (1) representative to the LULAC, NABCJ, and FEW national conferences attended by the Employer, provided the Employer is not responsible for any of the costs associated with this attendance. The Employer will grant official time for this attendance.

Section c. Each institution will establish an Affirmative Action Committee consisting of membership from the Employer and the Union. These committees normally will meet monthly for the purpose of advising Management on the status of the EEO program and serving as a sounding board for determining attitudes of and toward minorities and women at the facility. These committees will participate in the development and implementation of the Employer’s local Affirmative Action Plan and Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Recruitment Plan. Further, these committees will give program guidance and support for the special emphasis programs and will monitor activities such as the Upward Mobility Program, recruitment, hiring, retention, and other employment programs to ensure that no prohibited barriers to equal employment exist.

Section d. The committee will have access to all records and documents necessary to discharge its responsibilities.

Section e. EEO counselors will inform employees of their right to representation during the EEO process.

Based on the section (C) Confidentiality of DOJ proposed change to the Merit Promotion Policy; the Union and bargaining unit employee who are Special Emphasis Program Manager's (SEPM), of the Affirmative Action Committee maybe restricted access to an employee's promotion eligibility if the SEPM was representing an aggrieved employee complaint against a potential none selection.

Section 17 Concurrence on Component Merit Promotion Plans maybe in conflict with the parties Program Statement 3713.21 Affirmative Action and Diversity Management Program policy & the collective bargaining agreement. Specifically, Article 22, Section (c);

Each institution will establish an Affirmative Action Committee consisting of membership from the Employer and the Union. These committees normally will meet monthly for the purpose of advising Management on the status of the EEO program and serving as a sounding board for determining attitudes of and toward minorities and women at the facility. These committees will participate in the development and implementation of the Employer’s local Affirmative Action Plan and Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Recruitment Plan. Further, these committees will give program guidance and support for the special emphasis programs and will monitor activities such as the Upward Mobility Program, recruitment, hiring, retention, and other employment programs to ensure that no prohibited barriers to equal employment exist.

Even if the Union had a token productive role in this process, ultimately the Selecting Official can potentially violate the process with his/her final selection. Therefore, if the Union has a role in the Merit Promotion process but not in the final selection, would this participation take away the Union's right to challenge the Selecting Officials final selection? If so, we would prefer not to participate.


I have listed a few of the conflicts I have recognized in your proposed additions to the Merit Promotion Policy, with the parties in Federal Bureau of Prisons collective bargaining agreement and other related agreements. However, if the recipient of this correspondence has any questions of this Union Advocate, please feel free to do so by using the contact information enclosed on this correspondence.


Mr. M.A. Castelle, Sr.

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Union's Right to File Grievance Does Not Extinguish Employee's Right. The Commission found that the underlying EEO complaint, regarding complainant's detail to another division, was not subject to dismissal on the grounds that complainant had filed a grievance. The union had filed a grievance, following complainant's reassignment, due to concerns that the action violated the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The grievance was presented by the union based on its concerns related to the treatment of all employees. EEOC noted that an agency cannot deny a complainant the right to file an EEO complaint because the union has exercised its right to file its own grievance pursuant to the terms of the CBA. There was no evidence that complainant was involved in the filing of the grievance. Therefore, he did not elect to pursue his claim in that forum. Battu v. Department of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Appeal No. 01A44033 (September 28, 2004).
Michael A. Castelle, Sr.
National Fair Practices Coordinator
AFGE Council of Prison Local AFL/CIO
Cell: 804-943-1633
Fax: 804-732-2360

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Dear: Unionist, Activist & Presidents:
I have attached a random sampling being conducted by Class Representatives of the Turner's Class EEO Complaint, (please see attached). I am not a representative of the class or complaint processing nonetheless, please see attached for contact information on the class.
I will attempt to give you a brief back ground summary based on the attached correspondence.
On April 25, 2008, Dennis Turner filed a class complaint with the United States Employment Opportunity Commission against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Turner is alleging that:
"Since 1994, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has maintained a policy of retaliating against employees after they engage in protect EEO activity. Since 1994, the BOP has maintained a pattern and practice of retaliating against these employees by systematically denying them promotions."
The agency has provided numerous names of those individuals would were not promoted after engaging in the protected EEO process.
Mr. Turner's representatives are seeking to verify this information. Hence the purpose of the attached documentation based on the above mention criteria. However, if you would like to discuss this matter with Mr. Turner's counsel before completing the Questionnaire, please give his counsel a call at the number listed below and leave a message indicating that you have a question regarding the Turner Questionnaire.
John Mosby, Attorney at Law, 621 17th Street, Suite 925, Denver, CO 80293; telephone 303.623.1355, Fax 202.478.0046, email: .
Michael A. Castelle, Sr.
National Fair Practices Coordinator
Council of Prison Locals/CPL33
Cell: 804-943-1633
Fax: 804-732-2360



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Click on link below to view the memo on workplace violence


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Employee Rights

In a series of cases, the court interpreted federal statutes against workplace discrimination and by comfortable margins issued decisions favorable to employees.

Two decisions permitted employees to pursue claims that their complaints about discrimination had led their employers to retaliate against them. Two statutes that did not explicitly authorize suits for retaliation should nonetheless be interpreted to allow them, the court said.

In one of these cases, the court by a vote of 7 to 2 interpreted a Reconstruction-era statute known as Section 1981, which bars racial discrimination in employment, to include protection against retaliation. The case was CBOCS West Inc. v. Humphries, No. 06-1431. Justice Breyer wrote the opinion, with Justices Thomas and Scalia dissenting.

In the second case, the court held by a vote of 6 to 3 that the section of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act that applies to federal government employees gives them protection against retaliation for complaining about age discrimination. Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion in that case, Gómez-Pérez v. Potter, No. 06-1321. Chief Justices Roberts wrote a dissenting opinion, joined by Justices Scalia and Thomas.

The court also ruled that if an employer claims that a “reasonable factor other than age” accounts for the disproportionately negative impact that a layoff or other action has on older workers, it is up to the employer to prove it, rather than up to the employees to disprove the validity of the defense. The vote in this case, Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, No. 06-1505, was 7 to 1. Justice Souter wrote the majority opinion. Justice Thomas dissented, and Justice Breyer did not participate.

In still another age discrimination case, the court voted 7 to 2 that failure to file the proper form to make a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does not deprive an employee of the ability to go into court later and file a lawsuit. (Under the age discrimination law, an administrative complaint must precede a lawsuit, to give the commission time to investigate and perhaps resolve the problem.) Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in this case, Federal Express Corp. v. Holowecki, No. 06-1322. Justices Thomas and Scalia dissented.

The last of these cases, another age discrimination case, had an outcome that appeared, on the surface, to be ambiguous. The question was whether a plaintiff’s allegations that co-workers had suffered discriminatory treatment by different managers could be admitted as evidence in a discrimination case. In a unanimous opinion by Justice Thomas, the court said such evidence, sometimes known as “me-too” evidence, was sometimes admissible and sometimes not, depending on the circumstances. For employees, the significance of the decision, Sprint/United Management Company v. Mendelsohn, No. 06-1221, lay in the court’s rejection of the employer’s argument that such evidence was never relevant and should always be excluded.

In Unity & Solidarity:

Michael A. Castelle, Sr.

"All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing" it takes courage to do the right thing, and it's not always easy. Sometimes the few must take on the sacrifices for the good of the many."(There's) no evil that's inflicted more pain and more suffering than discrimination.

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Dear: Presidents, Unionist & Activist:


Dennis Turner has initiated a new class complaint before the EEOC. The class we are seeking to certify is defined as follows:


“Since 1994, the Bureau of Prisons has maintained a policy of retaliating against employees after they engage in protected EEO activity. Since 1994, the BOP has maintained a pattern and practice of retaliating against these employees by systematically denying them promotions.”


Class Counsel is seeking to identify possible class members. If you were denied a promotion after you engaged in EEO activity or know of someone who was please contact Class Counsel via email at or by fax to 303.927.3860.



Marilyn Cain Gordon
Attorney at Law
7603 Georgia Avenue, NW
Suite 301
Washington, DC 20012
Voice: 202.723.8600
Facsimile: 202.478.0046

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Federal Bureau of Prisons Segregate Electronic Searches of Female Staff



Presidents, Unionist & Activist:


I have received numerous allegations concerning discriminatory practices being committed by supervisors and management officials at the various institution throughout the Federal Bureau of Prisons toward our female bargaining unit staff members during the newly implemented electronic searches of female staff.

I think this is a direct result from cronyism, Good Ole Boy" ideology, the go along to get along principle and the Code of Silence principles that management practices in the Federal Bureau of Prisons when it comes to known violations being committed by management officials. Not to mention management violation of Title 5 U.S.C. to refuse to allow local Union their right to bargain the implementation of electronic searches at the local level.

This is the principal management uses when numerous discriminatory practices are being committed throughout the Federal Bureau of Prisons on a daily basis. How ironic is it that the agency has implemented the Electronic Searches of BOP Staff to protect others from potential harm?

However, there are allegations that female staff are being treated differently from their male counterpart in the Federal Bureau of Prisons based on physical differences. Especially the wearing of an under-wire bra. Because the agency’s Walk Through Metal Detector is set more sensitive than the Walk Through Metal Detectors currently being used by the TSA at all the airports in the nation to detect under-wire bras.

Females staff, are being physically pat searched,( which potentially could result in sexual harassment in some incidents) being instructed to remove their bras in non-private areas under the pretext to pass through the walk through metal detectors without bras. Female Staff are being instructed directly or indirectly to purchase sports bras by supervisors or management officials. Female Staff are being exposed to inappropriate comments of others during the electronic screening process, etc.

This is all occurring under the direct supervision of management during the initial implementation of the Electronic Searches!

This action by supervisors and management officials of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, is a violation of Title 5 U. S. C. §2302(b), Prohibited Personnel Practice related to Waste, Abuse and Fraud, 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title VII, 29 CFR PART 1614 as it relates to gender discrimination. Not to include other Federal Bureau of Prisons Policies, Rules and Regulations along with the National Electronic Searches MOU.

To segregate similarly situated female staff from their male counterparts with the electronic search procedures is a violation of law. Male employee’s metal zippers are being detected by the metal detector. However, males are not being instructed to remove their pants or being forced to change into a zipperless pair of pants. Females in the Federal Bureau of Prisons are being instructed to remove their underwear, specifically, under wire bras or being instructed to wear wireless bras are a totally different criteria to their male counterparts, in this writer’s opinion.


I would recommend all our female bargaining unit employee contact your EEO Counselor to initiate the Agency’s Administrative EEO Process, if you are being discriminated against in the agency’s Electronic Search process.

Please note that the aggrieved party must contact an EEO Counselor no later than forty-five calendar days after becoming aware of the alleged discrimination. I would also recommend that every individual that is aware of these violations or has witnessed these violations write your elected local, state and federal politicians to make them aware of what is occurring in the BOP.

I believe that the Cronyism, Good Ole Boys’ philosophy and Code of Silent are so strong among management officials in this agency that outside intervention is the only recourse to change the current working conditions in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

This must also be a Legislative concern also when we all meet in Washington, D.C. in February 2008, for the AFGE’s Legislative Conference. We all must come together now to address these ongoing violations now occurring in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.


Michael A. Castelle, Sr.
National Fair Practices Coordinator
A. F. G. E/Council of Prison Locals #33
Cell: 804-943-1633
Fax: 804-732-2360

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress"

I am for any movement whenever there is a good cause to promote, a right to assert, a chain to be broken, removed, or wrong to be redressed.