GEL Clients Sebastian Anderson, Darnell Rias and William Long were featured in the front page headline article of the April 30, 2023 edition of the Baltimore Sun. The article, “Disabled veterans come to Maryland for a career change. Years later, some are saddled with debt.”, written by Baltimore Sun investigative reporter Giacomo Bologna, detailed the clients’ travails in fighting attempts by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) to claim thousands of dollars in debt recoupment from their time working for that agency under the Warriors to Workforce program. After receiving training in the program funded by their vocational rehabilitation benefits earned after being injured during military service, these wounded veterans were assigned to remote locations by DVA to meet its staffing needs, working on site as normal contracting officers and not trainees or interns; they also had to sign contracts purporting to require them to repay money to DVA if they did not continue working at DVA for several years after the conclusion of the training program. Then, when the veterans left that agency (including for other positions in the federal government), DVA attempted force them to repay thousands of dollars for their travel and per diem expenses (a normal incident of pay for federal civil service employees) for staffing the remote DVA facilities. The veterans’ attorney, Mr. Perlmutter, was quoted in the article as stating, “My clients are wounded veterans — people who sacrificed greatly for this country — and they are being harmed by the very institution that is supposed to support them”.
To read the original Baltimore Sun article, click here.
If you are a current or former federal employee facing a debt recoupment action, and wish to seek advice on your rights, please consider contacting Gilbert Employment Law, P.C. to request an initial consultation.