The AFGE (American Federation of Government Workers) is representing EPA employees in the Midwest suing the EPA over denying remote work requests.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has offices throughout the country, and they are organized and segmented into regions. The EPA’s “Region 5” is its biggest such segmentation, and it encompasses EPA employees are based out of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Many of these employees were working from home-office locations during much of the pandemic, but starting in the fall of 2021, have had to return to on-site offices due to their request for remote work getting denied.
The AFGE chapter 701 is representing employees from the EPA’s “Region 5” because it appears particular denials of remote work requests from these locations occurred while in other regions, “similarly situated” EPA employees had their requests approved at much higher rates. When looking into the EPA’s policies, the affected workers submitted a request via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) back in May of this year. The agency subsequently set the estimated completion time for the information delivery at multiple “months.”
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The AFGE, and the EPA employees from the Midwest that they’re representing, have filed a complaint against the EPA specifically over this FOIA submission. The EPA workers are seeking the specific reasons for denial in regards to their remote work situation, and are understandably frustrated over the delay in the receipt of this information. The federal workers are claiming that their employing agency is purposefully withholding documents to stall their initial complaints of work request denials.
Until Next Time,
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