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Federally Employed Women


Federally Employed Women

Federally Employed Women (FEW), founded in 1968, is a private, non-profit membership organization with over 100 Chapters across the USA working exclusively to end sex discrimination and towards the advancement of women in federal service.

Location: Chapters across the USA
Members: 310
Latest Activity: on Tuesday

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Discussion Forum

A Phased Retirement Q&A

Started by Karen Rainey Aug 21. 0 Replies

Clearly, a lot of federal employees are interested in the idea of stepping gently into retirement using the new phased retirement option being unveiled this fall. I’ve received quite a few questions from employees about how phased retirement will…Continue

Scholarships for Women for online education

Started by Karen Rainey Aug 13. 0 Replies

Scholarships have been established to assist a wide range of students who are interested in furthering their education. The money awarded does not have to be repaid, but there are often very specific requirements related to the eligibility of…Continue

Federally Employed Women Award winners for 2014

Started by Karen Rainey Aug 8. 0 Replies

Congratulations to all Chapters and individuals who won National Award at the Leadership Summit! This was an exciting and proud moment for our Region! Thanks for your efforts in preparing the award package.Barbara Bordman Tenet - Georgia Thomas…Continue

Leadership Fundamentals Webinar

Started by Karen Rainey Jun 19. 0 Replies

We are pleased to let you know we have so much important information to share…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Karen Rainey on Tuesday

The first major women's rights conference was held at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, and just last month we continued that discussion during Federally Employed Women's (FEW) 2014 Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. Although the 19th Amendment granted women voting rights, women still today continue to seek equality. In the spirit of excellence, FEW and other non-profit organizations, like the National Organization for Women, continue to support women's equality through its... tiered approach toward addressing national issues and legislative engagement.

In 1971, to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote, Representative Bella Abzug (D-NY) introduced a bill to designate August 26 of each year as Women's Equality Day and the bill passed. Part of the bill reads that Women's Equality Day is a symbol of women's continued fight for equal rights and that the United States commends and supports them. It decreed that the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of woman suffrage and the 1970 Strike for Equality. Women today continue to draw on the history of these brave and determined women.

We continue to seek equality. FEW specifically calls for leaders to close the gender pay gap and guarantee the United States citizens are paid fairly based upon their knowledge, skills, abilities, education and training – not their gender.

Our efforts are paying off.

As you know, FEW's contributions to the nation's women's equality movement are robust. When President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the Violence against Women Act, FEW's efforts have been realized.

While the annual August 26th day offers the nation the opportunity to educate themselves about the contributions of women today, let us also pause to celebrate each of your individual achievements. Your investments in these national issues today will be realized in the future and I am grateful to lead this deeply meaningful organization.

Michelle Crockett
National President

Comment by Karen Rainey on August 21, 2014 at 10:21pm

OPM Promotes Value of Taking on CFC Role

OPM is asking agencies to send a standard email to their workforces to demonstrate clear support for the upcoming Combined Federal Campaign. In addition to sending form emails directed to employees and for agency managers and supervisors, OPM suggested that employees at all levels should volunteer to help administer the CFC as loan executives, coordinators, on local coordinating committees and in similar roles. OPM said such responsibilities are a good way for employees to develop professional skills and to develop public-private partnerships, and told agencies that it is appropriate for employees to use some working hours on such tasks.

Comment by Karen Rainey on August 21, 2014 at 10:20pm

Pay Order Is Likely

With no federal employee raise amount for 2015 having been set by legislation yet, President Obama can use authority under federal pay law to set a raise that would be paid by default in January should no number, including zero, be enacted into law by the end of the calendar year. Such an order—which most likely would repeat his earlier proposal for 1 percent—must be issued by the end of August. Some years such orders have been issued and in others they haven't, largely depending on how the budget is progressing. This year has been shaping up as a replay of last year, when the White House's early-year budget proposal had similarly recommended a 1 percent raise for the following January, and appropriations bills moving through Congress afterward were largely silent on the issue. Obama last August issued an order setting a January 2014 raise to take effect by default if the silence continued to the end of the year—which ultimately is what happened. Last year's order specified the 2014 increase to paid across the board, with no breakout for a locality component. That suggests a similar approach would be followed for 2015 since the amount presumably would be the same, although that remains to be seen.

Also consider that any Raise Ordered is Not the Last Word

Contrary to how the events commonly are reported by news outlets not particularly well versed in the procedures of federal pay-setting, a presidential pay raise order is not the final word on the raise. Any law containing a provision regarding a raise that is enacted after such an order overrides the order. So far there has been no move by Congress to either name a specific figure—despite proposals offered by some Democrats in both the House and Senate endorsing 3.3 percent—or to block the White House's recommended 1 percent raise. However, legislative action on the raise always is possible until Congress adjourns for the year. This year Congress plans a post-election session to last at least through the first two weeks of December. Thus, even if an order is issued later this month, a 2015 raise won't be finally decided until then.

Comment by Karen Rainey on August 16, 2014 at 7:29am

2014 Leadership Summit pictures are now in. We are pleased to share the memories with our regions, chapters, friends, and family. We had such a great time, I am sure you want to experience it for yourself. I can’t wait to see you next July at the 2015 National Training Program.

Comment by Karen Rainey on August 12, 2014 at 8:31pm

Women’s Equality Day – Numbers Don’t Tell the Whole Story

Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. This year as part of the annual observance, we will discuss the issue of equality for women in the federal workforce.

Women make up 65.8% of the IRS workforce. This is higher than the 2012 government wide average of 43.5%, and the Department of Treasury average of 60.9%. From a numbers perspective, the female federal employee population seems strong at the IRS, but numbers do not always tell the whole story.

In December 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a comprehensive report addressing major obstacles hindering equal opportunities for women in the federal workforce. This inter-agency work group report was based on in-depth research and consultation with key stakeholders and other women’s affinity groups.

The EEOC Women’s Work Group Report identified six obstacles facing women employed by the federal government.

· Inflexible workplace policies create challenges for women with caregiver obligations in the federal workforce.

· Higher-level and management positions remain harder to obtain for women.

· Women are underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields in the federal workforce.

· Women and men do not earn the same average salary in the federal government.

· Unconscious gender biases and stereotypical perceptions about women still play an important role in employment decisions in the federal sector.

· There is a perception that federal agencies lack commitment to achieving equal opportunities for women in the federal workplace.

Wanda Killingsworth (IT, Lanham, MD), Executive Vice President of Federally Employed Women took part in this EEOC Workgroup. “While women have made tremendous strides in the federal government, there are still significant obstacles which hinder equal employment opportunities in the federal workplace for women,” Wanda said. “FEW is greatly concerned about the demise of the Federal Women’s Program (FWP) and the lack of support for the FWP within the federal government. While the EEOC Workgroup Report addresses many of the challenges that has hindered opportunities for women in the federal sector and provided recommendations, it’s my hope that federal agencies will start addressing these obstacles outlined in the report and focus on eliminating these barriers for women in the federal government.”

Executive Order 11375 established the FWP and added sex to other prohibited forms of discrimination in federal employment. In 1969, Executive Order 11478 was signed by President Nixon, including the FWP into the overall EEO Program at federal agencies. The FWP at the IRS has primary responsibility to identify barriers to the hiring and advancement of women and to enhance employment opportunities for women in every area of federal service. Over the next year, the IRS will be conducting an analysis of the IRS workforce and engaging internal stakeholders to identify and recommend solutions for possible barriers for women at the IRS.

The IRS is making strides every day to ensure that all of our programs and policies reflect the needs and concerns of women and girls in our country. This month, we salute all IRS women employees on Women’s Equality Day for their hard work and dedication to public service.

Please share your reflections on Women’s Equality Day.

Comment by Karen Rainey on August 11, 2014 at 1:18pm

Virtual Presentation - Writing Your Federal Resume

Writing Your Federal Resume: This virtual presentation will explain each section of the job opportunity announcement (JOA) in an effort to better inform applicants and to assist them in selecting the right job.  The presentation will highlight a 3 part process to assist applicants in writing their Federal resume.  Attendees will be shown a real JOA and walked through a process that helps them review the JOA to determine qualifications and interest, identify the important requirements and then they will be taught how to tailor their resumes with the JOA.  Lastly, we will provide a quick overview of the resume builder on USAJOBS.

Join us on Saturday, August 16th @ 1:30 - 3:00pm (EDT)

This is an online virtual presentation only.  After registering for the presentation, a confirmation email will be sent to your email address.  This confirmation email will contain the link to the presentation on August 16th.  We will not have a physical location for this session. 

Registration will be limited to 1500 attendees.  Once we reach this number, registration will be closed. 

Additional dates will be available and posted on USAJOBS in the near future.

Click this link to register for the event:

Comment by Karen Rainey on August 11, 2014 at 6:03am

VA SES Provisions Explained

Congress has released a detailed report on HR-3230, the VA reform bill that restricts appeal rights for SES members there. It notes that under existing law—which will continue to apply to the SES contingent of all other agencies, although the VA changes are widely seen as setting precedent for broader changes—career SES employees may be removed for misconduct, neglect of duty, malfeasance, or failure to accept a directed reassignment or to accompany a position in a transfer of function. Senior executives removed as a result of these conduct-related issues are entitled to certain rights, including at least 30 days advance written notice; a reasonable time but not less than seven days to reply; representation by an attorney or other representative; a written decision from the agency involved; and appeal rights to the Merit Systems Protection Board. Further, under current law, they may be downgraded from the SES into a non-SES position for performance-related issues. This may occur at any time during a one-year probationary period or at any time for less than fully successful executive performance. Generally, senior executives removed from the SES and placed into a civil service position are entitled to an informal hearing before the MSPB. Also under current law, section 3592(b) of title 5, U.S.C., there is a 120-day moratorium from removing a career appointee in the SES following the appointment of the head of the agency or the SES employee's immediate supervisor. The original Senate version of the bill would have provided the VA Secretary the authority to remove or demote any individual from the SES at the Secretary's discretion, with shortened appeal rights. The House version would have provided for no appeal rights. The final version generally reflects the Senate language but specifies that the expedited review by the MSPB "be conducted by an Administrative Judge at the MSPB, and if the MSPB Administrative Judge does not conclude their review within 21 days then the removal or demotion is final. The substitute does not allow for any further appeal beyond the Administrative Judge, and does not allow for a second level review by the three-person board at the MSPB," the summary says. "The substitute also requires that if the senior executive is removed, and then appeals VA's decision, the senior executive is not entitled to any type of pay, bonus, or benefit while appealing the decision of removal. Furthermore, the substitute requires that if a senior executive is demoted, and then appeals VA's decision, the employee may only receive any type of pay, bonus, or benefit at the rate appropriate for the position they were demoted to, and only if the individual shows up for duty, while appealing the decision of demotion. The substitute requires that the MSPB submit to Congress a plan within 14 days of enactment of how the expedited review would be implemented. The substitute also adds language to include title 38 SES equivalents under this new authority and includes `misconduct' along with `poor performance' as a reason to remove or demote a senior executive."

Comment by Karen Rainey on August 11, 2014 at 5:54am

Getting a Social Security Benefit Estimate

The formula for determining a Social Security benefit is much more complex than that for figuring a federal retirement benefit, and requires making calculations beyond the reach of the typical covered person. Social Security no longer automatically mails annual benefits estimates to everyone, as it once did. But you can ask Social Security to produce an estimate for you by calling (800) 772-1213 or going to Within four to six weeks, you will receive a statement of your earnings record and estimates of your Social Security benefits for early retirement, full retirement and retirement at age 70. It also includes an estimate of the disability benefits you could receive if you become severely disabled before you're eligible for full retirement, as well as the amount of benefits payable to your spouse and other eligible family members due to your retirement, disability or death. To produce the estimate, Social Security checks your records to see whether you have earned enough credits over the years to qualify. If you do, SSA then estimates the amount based on your average earnings over your lifetime. For years between now and when you draw benefits, it assumes you will continue to work and make about the same as the latest earnings shown on your record. If your earnings increase or decrease your benefits will change accordingly. The dollar amounts for your potential benefits are stated in current dollars—that is, as the buying power in today's money. Social Security does this by assuming that the benefit formula will be increased equal with inflation each year between now and when you begin drawing benefits. There are several important points to note: * First, if you haven't earned enough credits to qualify for a Social Security benefit, the agency will not be able to provide an estimate of your benefits. However, if you continue working, SSA will give you a dollar estimate when you do qualify. * Second, the statement is an excellent opportunity for you to check, potentially well in advance of retirement, that Social Security's records on you match your own records. This will save you the hassle and aggravation of trying to sort out the records just as you are preparing to apply for the benefits. * Third, the estimate will not include the potential effect of the Government Pension Offset, Windfall Elimination Provision or Earnings Test on your benefits. See those sections for details on how they may affect you. * Finally, remember that the estimate is only that—an estimate. When you apply for benefits, your exact benefits will differ because by then you'll have an actual final record of earnings and not just a projected one. The monthly benefit you receive from Social Security may not be the basic benefit for several reasons. Your actual benefit may be higher or lower than that amount if you begin to draw benefits at other than your full retirement age, which currently is 66.

Comment by Karen Rainey on August 11, 2014 at 5:42am

VA Bill Restricting SES Rights Passes

President Obama is expected to sign within the coming days a VA reform bill (HR-3230) that among other things would allow the VA secretary at his discretion to fire or downgrade into the GS an SES member on either conduct grounds or performance grounds. Currently government-wide, downgrading from the SES is allowable only for poor performance, leaving firing as the only option for alleged misconduct—an action an agency may be reluctant to take because of the added legal complexities—and those downgraded for performance reasons are eligible to keep their current pay rate and to receive an informal hearing before MSPB; those removed from federal service get 30 days advance notice and full appeal rights to MSPB. Under the change, those downgraded or fired would have only seven days to file an appeal with the MSPB—for example, alleging political motivation, whistleblower retaliation or other prohibited practices—and the MSPB hearing officer would have to issue a decision within 21 days after the filing, with no further appeal allowed. Further, an individual who is fired could not receive any form of compensation while the appeal is pending, and those downgraded would be paid at the rate of their new position unless their appeal succeeds. The bill also bars use of patient scheduling, wait times and similar measures in performance evaluations, a step VA has taken administratively already, and sets annual caps on performance awards, bonuses and similar payments department-wide through 2024.

Comment by Karen Rainey on August 11, 2014 at 5:37am

DoD Continues Work on Revised Rating System

DoD says it continues to work on revised performance evaluation system that would affect the large majority of its civilian employees, although it still has no timeframe for putting it in place. The effort arises out of the 2009 law that repealed the national security personnel system, a pay banding and pay for performance system installed by the Bush administration that at one point covered more than 200,000 white collar employees there, but that suffered from lack of trust among employees (although it worked to the financial benefit of many, who received raises larger than they would have under the GS system and in some cases still are benefitting from retained pay above the limit applying to their current GS grade). DoD envisions a three-level rating system to be used as the basis for awards and other performance-based actions such as promotions.The three levels tentatively will be superior, successful and unacceptable, suggesting that the large majority of employees would fall in the middle level. The planned system further would feature "linkage between mission and organizational goals and individual performance plans, regular feedback during the appraisal cycle between employees and rating officials, and the ability to make meaningful distinctions in levels of performance." Joint labor-management groups continue to work on strategies to carry out such a system and work continues on setting up training for supervisors. Currently, most DoD employees are rated on five-level systems, which is also generally true at other agencies.


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