Leaving DOL

Man driving a van

I’m leaving my job. Friday is my last day. It’s been a good two years with the Department of Labor. I started here one day late because the government was still closed back in 2013.

I walked into the job and three days later my co-worker was let go. From then, I worked alone (with a lot of help from others) to get me into the position where I was able to support the department’s WebEx events without failure.

I was a one-man support team until Jan 2015 when I finally got some full-time help. Then we were finally a two-person team again. Then that person left suddenly in October and we hired a new person who I’ve poured all of my knowledge into and left him with a pile of documentation and as much training as I could cram into our few weeks together.

He’s knowledgeable, excited and hard-working and I know he’ll keep things going once I leave and continue the tradition of success I’ve worked so hard to build.

I tend to disappear from jobs without so much as word as I did from NIH in 2013, with my two-weeks being entirely during the shutdown.

This time, I setup an auto-responder to all new email to alert people who I was leaving and to email the group email address and not me directly as they’d gotten used to when it was just me.

I’m terrible at goodbyes but it’s nice to know your hard work didn’t go unnoticed which it can so often feel like when working in a support role. I got this email earlier this morning from a person I’ve worked on countless events with over the past two years.

Carl – I just learned you were leaving DOL this Friday. I wanted to say thank you so very much for all you have done on behalf of OCIO and the IT Modernization Team to support learning events, All Hands meetings, committee meetings, etc. – you were the glue that helped make these events work seamlessly as a norm. And if there was a hitch you had a quick remedy.

Your expertise and service-oriented way of being have been greatly appreciated and valued by all on our team. Knowing that someone with expertise and knowhow was available to assist in the less visible parts of the work removed a lot of stress.

Your departure is a tremendous loss for DOL and OCIO. I wish you the very very best in your next endeavor and hope your new employer understands the contribution you can make to their work.

So with this, I leave contracting to the Department of Labor for a contract job with the Food & Drug Administration.

Resources for Working Women

One of the perks of my job is getting to sit in on all sorts of presentations, informational sessions and other things I’d normally have no interest in, idea was happening, or right to be in.

Recently, one of these was an information sessions hosted by the Women’s Bureau. Which in itself is a great resource for information about women at work and for working women.

Recently, I hosted and sat in on a session called Employment Protections for Pregnant Workers. It was an hour-long panel discussion panel covering Federal protections as well as individual state’s protections for pregnant women.

During the session, there were some great resources shared that I wrote down and wanted to mention.

Babygate

The first is Babygate from A Better Balance. It’s billed as Your one-stop-shop for information about pregnancy and parenting at work

Babygate covers national protections offered by the Federal government. But it also has detailed information for every state about protections in your state.

It covers issues while you’re pregnant, leaving work and returning to work. In addition to information specific to your state, they also run a hotline for anyone having problems at work relating to pregnancy or parenting.

Call 212-430-5982

Our free hotline can provide you with information about your rights at work (or refer you to another attorney or legal organization in your area). The information provided here or in response to a Hotline inquiry does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If ABB chooses to represent you, then a retainer will be signed setting out the scope of the representation.

Women Employed

Women Employed is about Mobilizing people and organizations to expand educational and employment opportunities for America’s working women.

They lay out the problem as:

Far too many jobs women hold fall below the standard that most Americans would consider decent work. They offer very low wages, few if any benefits, and little respect. Hours are irregular and schedules change constantly. Women are twice as likely as men to work in occupations with poverty-level wages. Over 40 percent of private-sector workers have no paid sick days. Sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination are common. Bad jobs keep women in a state of economic crisis and harm their children. We all pay the costs of low-wage work.

And it’s their mission to address these problems with financial aid, supporting students and offering career pathways to women.

They have a good page of resources including your rights at work, so you can learn exactly what your rights are. They also offer a career coaching program to get you into a better position. And even a program to help complete a degree including academic counseling.

U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has the authority to investigate charges of discrimination. It also works to educate about and prevent harassment and discrimination before it occurs.

The EEOC has a huge amount of information about harassment and discrimination. The newsroom has a list of major topics. Such as protections for LGBT workers, Americans with Disabilities and Workplace Religious Accommodation. The EEOC is based in Washington, DC. But they have a number of field offices around the US.

If you need to file a charge, they have a process for filing a charge of discrimination.

I hope these resources might be helpful for someone out there. There is a lot of information and there are some really amazing people working very hard to defend and protect the rights of women, pregnant or not.