“Discretion” is little used term and concept in the world we live in. Instead, the focus is always upon one’s “right” to speak about anything, to expose everything, to assert one’s demands, etc. But the conceptual applicability of the term should not be ignored in preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS — one must be “discrete” as to which issues to include in such an application.
By “discretion” is not meant to imply any attempt to hide or obfuscate an issue; rather, because Federal Disability Retirement is an administrative process with its own inherent rules and laws, there is a containment of the types of issues which one should stick to. For example, one should minimize and stay away, as much as possible, from such issues as “workplace harassment”, “hostile work environment“, “employee harassment”, etc. Such issues might be relevant in an EEOC case, but potentially detrimental to a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS.
There are Federal and Postal employees, however, who will insist that such issues “need to be brought up” in order to “expose” such injustice. But everything has a proper time, place, and jurisdictional forum. Discretion is always a relevant concept — but to recognize that discretion is a necessity in and of itself requires discretionary judgment; something that is sorely lacking in this day and age.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire