This story came up in my internet searches about the Forest Service: while it’s off the general topic, it does raise some interesting questions related to morale and administrative changes.
Here’s the link and below is an excerpt:
Hager left the INFRA program manager position in 2003, and the opening was advertised in February 2004. However, an intervening change in agency policy prohibited the Forest Service from posting interchangeable listings, so the job was advertised strictly under the professional series.
Here are ssome questions this story raised in my mind:
“if it was OK for a long time to advertise in multiple series, why was the policy changed?”
“Does the new policy help or hinder stated goals to get more diverse applicants available on certs?”
And “given the likely gender ratios in administrative compared to technical series, did that policy change have an unintended discriminatory effect?” (not related to this specific case, but worthy of examination on a broader scale)
Note: back when I was working, this cap on number of series caused a great deal of unnecessary work and annoyance. Hopefully, the policy has been changed back and this is now gone. There may be a good reason for this change, but if so, I am not sure that that was ever communicated to the rank and file.
I was also interested in these statements:
That is because she would have us ignore the time period shortly following her protected activity–the precise period when we ordinarily would expect any anger or resentment that her activity engendered in the Forest Service to be at its apex–and instead focus on a period almost two years removed from her protected activity merely because it was at that point that the Forest Service had its first opportunity to retaliate against her by taking a very specific adverse action,” Holmes wrote.
“[O]ur ability to draw … a causal inference from an employer’s adverse action” based on temporal proximity alone “diminishes over time because we may reasonably expect (as a matter of common sense) that the embers of anger or resentment that may have been inflamed by the employee’s protected activity–emotions that would underlie any retaliatory adverse action–would cool over time,” Holmes wrote. Conroy’s proposed approach, which focused on events nearly two years after her protected activity, “stands at odds with this temporal-proximity, causation rationale.”
Would that strong emotions always had that rate and trajectory of reduction! There would probably be fewer armed conflicts if it were that simple.. glad to know that legal organizations don’t have long-term simmering resentments..