September 21, 2020 – September 25, 2020 all-day America/New York Timezone

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The civil service world is changing and it’s important to be aware of the new laws and executive orders that apply to you. MSPB Law Week covers the legal requirements and best practices for disciplinary charges and penalties, plus understanding the law and strategy in handling performance cases and defending against whistleblower reprisal complaints. Join top MSPB practitioners and topic authors, and learn the law, strategies, and techniques from their many years of combined experience.

While the near future of the Merit Systems Protection Board remains uncertain, FELTG’s instructors are staying on top of the situation and will provide attendees with the information they need to know.

The program runs 12:00 – 4:00 pm eastern each day, with a break from 1:45 – 2:15.

Download Individual Registration Form


Deborah Hopkins, Ann Boehm, Bob Woods

Daily Agenda


The Foundations of Accountability; Adverse Actions: Statutory basis including the Civil Service Reform Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, President Trump’s 2018 Executive Orders, the five elements of every disciplinary case and the burdens of proof, the fundamentals of penalty selection and defense, discipline procedures and appeals.


Disciplinary Charges: Types of charges, parts of a charge, how charges are interpreted, the role of the proposing and deciding officials, capitalizing on the general charge, allowing the inclusion of lesser-included offenses, charging in the alternative, attractive options to difficult charges and common charging mistakes, proving the difficult “intent” charge element, a step by step approach to charge drafting.


Penalties: MSPB and Federal Circuit lead cases in penalty determination, getting “intent” penalties off of “non-intent” charges, proving harsh penalties off of vanilla charges, charging down and proving up, how the maximum penalty is established, penalty mitigation; law enforcement officer discipline.


Unacceptable Performance: Performance actions in perspective, drafting a defensible performance standard, implementing Performance Demonstration Periods (DPs, formerly known as PIPs), defeating the DP rollercoaster; the proof needed to take a performance-based action; removing a poor performer in 31 days.


Defending Against Whistleblower Reprisal Claims and other Affirmative Defenses: Whistleblower claims: protected disclosures and whistleblower reprisal, claims of harmful error, reprisal for union activity, excessive penalty findings.


Most people attend the full training week, but you may opt out of any days you don’t plan to attend.

Early Bird Tuition (register by September 8):

  • 5 days = $1525
  • 4 days = $1245
  • 3 days = $960
  • 2 days = $680
  • 1 day = $395

Standard Tuition (register September 9 – September 25):

  • 5 days = $1600
  • 4 days = $1325
  • 3 days = $1015
  • 2 days = $725
  • 1 day = $445

Seminar registration includes a copy of the textbook UnCivil Servant: Holding Employees Accountable for Performance and Conduct, 5th ed., by Wiley and Hopkins. In order to receive your copy of the textbook by the training date, please register by September 12 and provide a shipping address in the designated space on the registration form.

Event FAQs

  • Can I attend Virtual Training from my government computer?
    • FELTG uses Webex for this Virtual Training Institute event. Many government computers and systems allow Webex access. If for some reason your firewall will not allow access, you’re welcome to use your personal email address to register, and to attend the sessions from your personal device.
  • Can I earn CLE credits for this class?
    • CLE applications are the responsibility of each attendee; FELTG does not apply for the credits on behalf of attendees.  If you are seeking CLE credit, attendees may use the materials provided by FELTG in submission to your state bar. Attendees may also request a certificate of completion which will contain the number of training hours attended.
  • Can I share my access link with co-workers?
    • No. Registration for this event is per individual, and access links may not be shared. Each link may only be used by one person.
  • Can I register a teleworker?
    • This event is individual registration, so the cost is the same whether the person is teleworking or in an agency facility.
  • How do I receive a group rate discount?
    • Group rates are available for agencies registering 10 or more individuals for the full event. Group discounts are available through September 8.

Cancellation and No-show Policy for Registered Participants: Cancellations made after the cancel date on the registration form will not be refunded or given credit toward future courses. Pre-paid training using the “Pay Now” option will not be refunded or given credit toward future courses. No-shows will not be refunded or given credit toward future courses.

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