Tag Archives: OPM

Gay History - January 8, 1962: Two Men Arrested for “Abominable Act and Detestable Crime Against Nature” In North Carolina Under 429-Year-Old Law

Trump Administration and OPM Suggests Shutdown Affected Federal Workers Do Odd Jobs for Landlords In Lieu of Rent

The Office of Personnel Management tweeted advice to furloughed federal workers who are not getting paid during the shutdown on how to explain their situation to creditors and landlords—including one sample letter with the suggestion that they offer to perform chores in exchange for rent payments .

USA Today reports:

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has offered federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown a guide for negotiating with creditors, landlords and mortgage companies while their income is cut off.

The Thursday tweet notes that workers should consult with a “personal attorney” for advice but offers templates for how one might seek financial assistance for various financial obligations.

Among the suggested strategies: A furloughed employee might offer to trade maintenance services such as painting or carpentry work in exchange for a reduction in rent.

Here is the link to the he U.S. Office of Personnel Management resource center, which includes the template letters for creditors and financial institutions .

*Sample Letter to Landlord


Dear (Name of Company or individual with whom you have spoken)

This is to confirm our conversation of (date) in which we discussed a temporary reduction in my monthly rent.

As we discussed, I am a Federal employee who has recently been furloughed due to a lack of funding of my agency. Because of this, my income has been severely cut and I am unable to pay the entire cost of my rent, along with my other expenses. ·

As we had agreed in our conversation, I will be able to make regular payments in the amount of $_______. I realize that I will be responsible to pay the remainder of the payments and, when I return to work, I will contact you immediately to work out a plan to take care of the reduced payments. I will keep in touch with you to keep you informed about my income status and I would like to discuss with you the possibility of trading my services to perform maintenance (e.g. painting, carpentry work) in exchange for partial rent payments.

I appreciate your willingness to work with me and your understanding during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

(Name)

Address

Telephone Number

Federal Goverment Extends All Benefits To Gay-Married Employees

The Office Of Personnel Management has announced the immediate extension of ALL EMPLOYEE BENEFITS to Same Sex Married Couples.

Health Insurance (FEHB): All legally married same-sex spouses will now be eligible family members under a Self and Family enrollment. In addition, the children of same-sex marriages will be treated just as those of opposite-sex marriages and will be eligible family members according to the same eligibility guidelines. This includes coverage for children of same-sex spouses as stepchildren. Employees and annuitants will have 60 days from June 26, 2013 until August 26, 2013, to make immediate changes to their FEHB enrollment. Enrollees will continue to be eligible to make changes to their coverage options during Open Season later this year. For those employees and annuitants who already have a Self and Family insurance plan, coverage for their same-sex spouse will begin immediately upon their notifying their FEHB carrier that there is a newly eligible family member. For those employees and annuitants electing Self and Family for the first time, benefits will be effective on the first day of the first pay period after the enrollment request is received. While online enrollment systems are updated, it may be necessary for employees and annuitants to update their elections using the paper (rather than electronic) version of the SF2809 form.

Life Insurance (FEGLI): All legally married same-sex spouses and children of legal same-sex marriages are now eligible family members under the FEGLI Program, which means that employees may add coverage for a same-sex spouse and any newly eligible children under Option C. Employees will have 60 days from June 26, 2013 until August 26, 2013, to make changes to their FEGLI enrollment.

Dental and Vision Insurance (FEDVIP): As with FEHB, all legally married same-sex spouses will now be eligible family members under a Self and Family enrollment or a Self Plus One enrollment. Current FEDVIP enrollees may now call BENEFEDS (877-888-FEDS (3337)) directly to make the necessary enrollment changes. Employees will have 60 days from June 26, 2013 until August 26, 2013, to make changes to their FEDVIP enrollment. Current enrollees will also be able to make changes to their coverage options during Open Season later this year, and individuals wishing to enroll in FEDVIP for the first time may also do so at that time.

The release also announces the full extension of benefits of long-term care insurance, retirement accounts, and flexible spending accounts.

 

U.S. Office of Personnel Management Refuses To Remove Anti-Gay Hate Groups From Federal Charity Program

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has declined a request to remove two extremist anti-gay hate groups the Family Research Council and the American Family Association from a federal employee charitable giving program known as the Combined Federal Campaign by senior federal employee Gary Cunningham and other federal employees.

The CFC bills itself on its website as the world’s largest charitable giving program. In 2010 federal workers donated more than $281.5 million to charitable organizations in the U.S. and abroad. In the 50 years since the CFC was created, federal employees have donated more than $7 billion to thousands of national and local charitable groups.

Cunningham, joined by several other federal workers, made the request for removing the Family Research Council and the American Family Association from the CFC on grounds that the organizations were listed as hate groups.

The OPM, which is headed by John Berry, an out gay man, responded by stating “The ideology of a charity is not considered. No federal tax dollars are provided to any charity through the CFC. Donors can select which CFC charities they wish to contribute to and exclude charities they do not want to support.”

OPM spokesperson Brittney Manchester added “OPM does not consider a charitable organization’s political activity or viewpoint when making eligibility determinations. Giving to charities through the CFC is a matter of personal choice for federal employees, who have the option to ensure that their contributions go only to the specific charities they designate.”

And even though Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, wrote in a commentary in the Washington Post on Tuesday that the designation of the Family Research Council as a hate group is justified. Griffin said FRC’s long history of “claiming the mantle of ‘deeply held religious beliefs’” to propagate “lies that denigrate an entire group of people” supports the designation as a hate group. A source familiar with HRC said HRC would not support expelling FRC and other groups from the CFC “because of the implications that it could have for pro-LGBT organizations in an unfriendly (GOP) administration.” (Because after all  a civil rights group and  hate groups have so much in common.)

Other anti-LGBT hate groups that receive donations through Combined Federal Campaign include Pat Robertson’s 700 Club; the Alliance Defense Fund; and Focus on the Family.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management Scrambles For Cover Over The FEHB – AETNA Pet Insurance Debacle

The U.S. Department of Personnel Management sent out a late day Press Release concerning the story that was printed this morning regarding the fact that Aetna was offering Federal Employees Pet Insurance. stories that were reported this morning.  (Obviously someone is reading the LGBT Blogs)

“Stories claiming that the federal government offers pet insurance to federal employees, and juxtaposing that benefit with the fact that the federal government cannot under current law provide health insurance benefits to federal employees’ domestic partners are grossly inaccurate. While Aetna is a participating carrier in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the pet insurance product offered by Aetna is not a federal benefit, nor has it been listed as a benefit in any OPM prepared or reviewed materials. Aetna, on its own initiative, offers a variety of discount products to its members, including gym memberships, weight loss programs, eyewear, vitamins, etc. Pet insurance is one of these products.

“Aetna has apologized for using the reference to FEHBP in its communication on this discount program. OPM regrets that Aetna’s error is being cited by some as evidence that same-sex domestic partner health insurance benefits for federal employees are not a priority by OPM and the Administration. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“The Obama Administration believes in granting equal rights and benefits to gay and lesbian federal employees as demonstrated by the President’s strong support of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, which will provide full benefits to same-sex partners of federal workers. The Director of OPM has testified in both the Senate and the House in favor of its passage.”

OPM doesn’t seem to mention WHY Federal Employee’s received email stating that FEHPB Members with AETNA could get a discount on Pet Insurance through official business Federal email accounts if AETNA took it upon itself to do this.  But hey, they are just trying to cover some asses here

As for “the President’s strong support of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act” I suppose his “strong support” is why it, like ENDA is sitting stagnant in Congress.

Gay Federal Workers Can Now Take Leave Without Pay! – We Get Crumbs Because The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act Would "Cost Too Much"

The Office of Personnel Management announced late last week that gay and lesbian federal workers with a same-sex partner can now take leave without pay to attend to their family’s educational and medical needs!

BIG SHIT!

The The Office of Personnel Management is crowing about the fact that it’s instructing federal agencies to extend 24 hours of leave without pay each year to gay federal workers, essentially allowing them to attend school functions and medical and dental appointments or to provide care to an elderly partner,  Well here’s some news for the OPM and everyone else.  Leave Without Pay is granted to any employee Gay or Straight at anytime with a Supervisors or Managers permission.  I know.  I seasonally work as a Federal Worker.

All this This HYPE of course is to make it look like Obama’s LAME extended fringe benefits to the same-sex partners of federal workers, was actually SOMETHING BIG and to cover the fact that have nothing to do with the MAJOR benefits like same-sex partner Health Insurance coverage, Life Insurance, Retirement and pension access, etc.  These “extended benfits” are just garbage,  pure and simple and an insult at best.  What was given to us are the  the least important of all Federal benefits and ones that hat very few lesbians and gays men would ever need, use or want.

Of course Obama cannot extend full benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees unless Congress passes  The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act  and of course efforts to do so have stalled this year in the House and Senate ever since the CBO estimated that benefits for same-sex partners would cost $310 million over the next 5 years.

BREAKING NEWS: Federal District Court Judge Rules That DOMA (The Defense Of Marriage Act) Is Unconstitutional

Today set the stage for two HUGE victories for gay marriage, as a federal judge in Boston ruled that section three of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is INDEED unconstitutional.

Both cases were argued, separately, in May,and today the decisons were reached.

Massachusetts, Judge Joseph Tauro ruled that Congress violated the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when it passed DOMA and took from the states decisions concerning which couples can be considered married. In the other, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, he ruled DOMA violates the equal protection principles embodied in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

And in the second case Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Health and Human Services, Tauro ruled that   the federal law’s definition of marriage — one man and one woman — violates state sovereignty by treating some couples with Massachusetts’ marriage licenses differently than others. In Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), a gay legal group, asked Tauro to consider whether DOMA violates the right of eight same-sex couples to equal protection of the law

This also means the Department of Justice, OPM and HHS lost today. And they’will have to decide if they want to appeal it which given the current climate of LGBT rights relations and the Obama administration and will undoubtedly have HUGE ramifications either way. 

Partners Of Federal Employees Can Apply For A Few LIMITED Benefits Next Month – If I Wanted Crumbs I’d Buy A Cake!

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh.  The Office of Personnel Management announced that same-sex partners of federal employees can begin applying for long-term care insurance next month. 

President Obama signed a memo last June extending some benefits to same-sex partners of federal workers, including access to the government’s Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. On Tuesday, OPM essentially broadened the definition of relatives eligible for the program to include same-sex domestic partners of eligible federal workers, U.S. Postal Service workers and federal retirees. OPM will not extend access to opposite-sex domestic partners, because they can obtain the insurance through marriage, “an option not currently available to same-sex domestic partners,” the agency wrote in Tuesday’s Federal Register. OPM said same-sex couples can visit www.ltcfeds.com to complete a form that states they are each other’s domestic partner and intend to stay together indefinitely. The federal worker must submit the form to their employer. Couples will not be required to provide further proof of the relationship, OPM said, because that “would impose a greater burden on domestic partners than other qualified relatives.” The agency said it does not ask opposite-sex couples for bank statements or other proof of marriage

Big Whoopie, they are extending coverage for the government’s Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. THIS IS NOT HEALTH INSURANCE! Which will NOT be offered to same-sex partners and no other federal health-care or insurance programs such as Life Insurance inclusion and/or Retirement Options be offered.

The Obama Administration continues to claim that it is  prevented by existing Federal law (DOMA) from providing same-sex domestic partners with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples even though a Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit, Judge Alex Kozinski has has ruled that the Federal Goverment can INDEED allow medical benefits for partners of gay federal employees WITHOUT violating DOMA in a ruling in the case of Karen Golinski which Head [White] House Fagroe John Berry now chooses to ignore and fight against!

Karen and her life partner of twenty years, Amy Cunninghis, married in California in 2008. After working for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as a judicial attorney for seventeen years, and with new legal force supporting her relationship after her marriage, Karen renewed a prior request for family health benefits.
When Karen’s request was denied, Lambda Legal and pro bono counsel at Morrison & Foerster LLP assisted her with her internal administrative grievance, as required by the court’s personnel policies. Hearing the case in his role as Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit, Judge Alex Kozinski agreed that Karen is entitled to equal compensation in the form of family benefits for Amy, and that the so-called federal “Defense of Marriage Act” poses no barrier. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) then interfered, however, directing Karen’s insurer to defy Judge Kozinski’s orders and not enroll Amy in Karen’s family health plan.

Karen’s case started during the Bush administration, but we found ourselves facing a surprising adversary after the election. President Obama’s administration has continued aggressively to defy Kozinski’s orders, while also refusing to offer its legal arguments in court. Repeated conversations with administration attorneys and representatives have yielded no progress, leaving us to wonder – where is the “fierce advocate” for LGBT rights that President Obama promised us? The administration made its case during the health care debate about the need to have more people in group health plans-the very solution it so vigorously denies Karen.

After OPM flouted no fewer than four court orders from Judge Kozinski, we were forced to initiate an enforcement case in federal court. It was a disappointing irony when we had to name as a defendant OPM Director John Berry, believed by many to be the highest ranking openly gay person in the administration. Karen’s case is now pending in the District Court for the Northern District of California, where we’re seeking an order requiring OPM to stop interfering with the court’s personnel practices in violation of the constitutional “separation of powers” doctrine and other rules.

As Judge Kozinski recognized when ordering back pay for Karen as partial compensation for the insurance coverage she’s been denied so far, there is an “inherent inequality” in allowing heterosexuals to participate in the employee health plan while giving lesbians and gay men like Karen “a wad of cash to go elsewhere. Even if the destination is the same, it’s still the back of the bus.”

So while The White House spins the crumbs of a few third rate benefits into what seems to be “equality”  but in fact makes us seem and feel more like second class citizens and Joe Solmonese creams another $500.00 suit because Obama smiled at him, just remember it is what it is.

BULLSHIT!