You Decide


RPES as a Legitimate Evaluation System” versus “RPES as an ARS Tool of Discrimination”



THE REALITY OF RPES  (case studies)

New Hire  (2004)

  1.   Job announcement for a GS 13/14 Research Scientist in the USDA ARS

  2.   CV submitted (fully meeting the Job Announcement’s qualifications for a GS 13 rank)

  3.   ARS Guidelines for New Hire case writeups

  4.   RPES “written narrative” (Factor 4) submitted

  5.   RPES panel decision (resulting in a GS 12 job offer)

  6.   Evaluating the RPES panel’s results

            -  I was advised to use the ARS streamlined format

            -  Factors I, II, and III were written by the ARS Selecting Official

            -  Factors I and II are based on the advertised GS 13/14 research position (regardless of

                    which qualified candidate is selected), and should each receive a minimum of 6 points.

            -  I was assigned a GS 12 rank based on the panel’s perception of the job, NOT on the

                    basis of my qualifications and creativity, since RPES panels do not use objective,

                    measurable criteria when evaluating ARS scientists

            -  RPES evaluation criteria for judging a scientist’s accomplishments

            -  My h-factor (Impact rating in science) was later found to be over twice the level of the

                    GS 15 Selecting Official (yet I was rated GS 12 after qualifying for a GS 13/14 job interview)

            -   ARS document describing the RPE System as evaluating a scientist’s “entire career

            -  Sample Curriculum Vitae (CV) of a GS 15 ARS scientist, (document is heavily redacted,

                     but shows the scientific-publication “impact” that is acceptable for a GS 15 male in ARS)

You Decide

Do you believe that it was appropriate for the RPES panel to:

     - disregard an officially certified GS 13/14 position (by assigning GS 12 values to Factors I and II)

     - equate over ten years of (post-doctoral) research experience with that of a newly-minted Ph.D.

     - accede to the wishes of a supervisor who wanted to hire a woman as GS 12, instead of GS 13/14

Three Years Later  (2007)

  1.   Second Attempt:

          case writeup 2007

          -  subsequent grievance


  2.     (This section is still under construction)

You Decide

     - a

     - b

     - c

Three Years Later (3rd RPES attempt in 2010)

  1.   First draft

          - email string  (ARS Administrative personnel)

          - email string  (supervisor)

          - case writeup (submitted to supervisor)

          - (case writeup was rejected by supervisor)

  1.   Second draft

          - email string  (supervisor)

          - case writeup (submitted to supervisor)

          - (case writeup rejected by supervisor)

  1.    Final draft (never submitted)

          - email string (removing supervisor from further involvement in my RPES process)

          - On August 19th, 2010, the last woman research scientist working for the USDA

                   Agricultural Research Service in Alaska’s Subarctic Agricultural Research

                   Unit (SARU) was summoned to an EEOC-mediated settlement meeting and

                   suddenly, immediately, (and very unexpectedly !!!) became unemployed,

                   thereby (inelegantly) resolving the issue of how discrimination complaints

                   should be handled within RPES

You Decide

Is it wise to stand up and oppose unlawful activities when your supervisor is

       violating U.S. anti-discrimination laws?

         -  I did everything right (e.g. documenting the unlawful activities, filing timely grievances,

                      navigating the delay-ridden complaint process, preparing for EEOC, etc...)

         -  I waited years (years!!!) for relief from the harassment, discrimination, and retaliation

                      that was being perpetrated against me and the other women in my federal workplace

          -  I bet everything (e.g. my job, my career, my health, my happiness, and my future) that

                      my U.S. government employer would uphold U.S. anti-discrimination laws

          -  I lost my bet...