Calendar

FELTG Executive Director Deborah Hopkins instructing a class
Aug
18
Wed
Virtual Training Event – Effectively Managing and Communicating With Federal Employees
Aug 18 – Aug 19 all-day

Download Individual Registration Form

Course Description

The one-size-fits-all approach to managing others is ineffective, and that becomes particularly apparent when the majority of your staff is teleworking.  Drawing upon the latest research and best practices in behavioral science, communication, team effectiveness, and generational studies, while making special consideration of the increased use of telework during the COVID-19 pandemic, FELTG Instructor Dr. Anthony Marchese will share his insight and practical strategies to ensure you are managing for success.

For many of you, employees are starting to return to the workplace, which will create some new management challenges. Rarely has the quality of your communication been more important.

Sessions will be held from 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm eastern, with a break from 2:00-2:30 pm.

Instructor

FELTG Instructor Dr. Anthony Marchese

Anthony Marchese, PhD

Who Should Attend

Federal supervisors and managers; attorneys; Labor and Employee Relations Specialists; EEO specialists; union representatives.

Agenda

Wednesday, August 18 – Managing Effectively

12:30-4:00 pm eastern (break from 2:00-2:30)

Course description: Dr. Marchese will explain the difference between managing and leading, and help you to identify your strength and hone your supervisory skills. Using realistic agency scenarios, participants will learn how to understand and leverage individual differences to develop a meaningful management methodology that is targeted to the needs of their employees and those of the agency.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Identify strategies for managing difficult employees.
  • Successfully manage a mobile workforce.
  • Employ a specific set of skills to resolve workplace conflicts – including virtual conflicts.

Thursday, August 19 – Communicating Effectively

12:30-4:00 pm eastern (break from 2:00-2:30)

Course description: What is stopping you and your team from developing innovative solutions to your most challenging problems? Oftentimes, the problem lies in a unit’s lack of communication. In Day 2 of this interactive virtual training, Dr. Marchese will share several strategies for improving communication with your staff – and it starts with you providing ongoing feedback on employee performance.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • (And how often to) communicate performance expectations.
  • Recognize the differences between positive and negative framing.
  • Hold difficult conversations with employees.

Price

  • Early Bird Tuition: $345 per session, $630 for both sessions (register by August 2).
  • Standard Tuition: $395 per session, $685 for both sessions (register August 3-19).
  • Rates per registrant. No split registrations.

Event FAQs

  • Can I attend Virtual Training from my government computer?
    • FELTG uses Webex to broadcast its Virtual Training Institute events. 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 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 August 2.

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.

Sep
27
Mon
Virtual Training Event – Federal Workplace 2021: Accountability, Challenges, and Trends
Sep 27 – Oct 1 all-day

Download Individual Registration Form

Course Description

We’re back!  Once again, FELTG’s experienced and widely respected instructors come together for the Federal Workplace 2021: Accountability, Challenges, and Trends virtual training event. In this event we focus on making sure you’re prepared to effectively manage the Federal employment challenges that are new, complicated, and critical to your and your agency’s success. Let FELTG lead you into the new fiscal year the right way.

The last year was, to continue the overuse of the word, unprecedented. A pandemic. Remote work. Political chaos. Targeted harassment. A new administration. During the course of this weeklong training, FELTG instructors will share the best practices and lessons learned over the previous fiscal year, and provide the guidance and expertise you’ll need to thrive in the upcoming year.

We know you have plenty of training options – both onsite and virtual – to choose from this time of year. This program has several advantages. Although not a conference, it provides an opportunity for conference-like training for those who can’t get travel approval, or for those not quite ready to squish into packed rooms. And unlike other virtual events where you have to register for the full agenda, this training event allows attendees to register for only the sessions they prefer to attend. In addition, FELTG is an SBA-certified Woman Owned Small Business, allowing your agency to help achieve its small business set aside fiscal targets. And if all that wasn’t enough, Federal Workplace 2021: Accountability, Challenges, and Trends is completely live, and attendees have the opportunities to ask questions and engage in polls and other activities. Beware of “virtual” conferences that aren’t live.

No matter your job title, this event has something for you. Attendees will receive clear strategies and straight-forward guidance on holding employees accountable on emerging performance and conduct issues, deftly handling the most complex challenges, and identifying and handling those pesky issues that are new — or will be soon enough.

Who Should Attend

Attorneys; Labor and Employee Relations Specialists; EEO managers and directors; EEO specialists; Reasonable Accommodation Coordinators; Federal supervisors and managers; emerging leaders; security officers; union representatives.

Download Individual Registration Form



Monday, September 27, 2020

Pre-session
1 – 4:30 pm EDT
EEO Challenges, COVID-19, and a Return to Workplace Normalcy
Presented by Katherine Atkinson, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

(Earn 3 EEO counselor & investigator refresher hours and/or 3 CLE credits)

Attorney Katherine Atkinson will explain how applying the basic EEO framework can answer the aforementioned and other puzzling EEO questions you may suddenly face. Because Ms. Atkinson will use a legal analysis to address these challenges, the answers and guidance you receive during this virtual training will be useful long after the coronavirus is gone.

Topics covered will include answers to these questions:

  • Can you require that an employee take the vaccine before returning to the workplace?
  • What if an employee refuses to take the vaccine, but is also not in a position that can be done remotely?
  • If a supervisor treats an employee like she has COVID-19, could that employee have a “regarded as” claim under the ADA/Rehabilitation Act?
  • How would you handle an employee’s claim that he’s being harassed because he is at high risk for COVID-19, or has recovered from the virus?
  • Can you direct someone with asthma to telework when she prefers to work in the office?
  • Does asking the pre-vaccination screening questions create a violation of Title II of the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act?

Plus, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask questions about the unique problems you’re facing during these unprecedented times.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn how to determine:

  • Whether an employee with COVID-19 or pre-existing respiratory sensitivities should receive a reasonable accommodation.
  • How pregnant women fit into the framework of EEO and COVID-19.
  • When and how to take action against pandemic-related harassment and discrimination.


Tuesday, September 28, 2020

Spotlight on Accountability

 

Session 1
9:30 – 10:45 am EDT
You Want Accountability? Avoid These Too-Common Mistakes
Presented by Deborah J. Hopkins, Attorney at Law, FELTG President

(Earn 1.25 CLE credits)

Almost 60 percent of Federal employees think their supervisors do not do enough to hold unacceptable performers accountable. Meanwhile, myths about the inability to discipline employees for misconduct continue to fester. There is one action you can take to boost your agency’s FEVS scores, increase morale, and improve productivity, and it’s this: Do a better job holding employees accountable for performance and conduct. The best way to start is by eliminating the most common mistakes that derail your efforts. FELTG President Deborah Hopkins will identify these habitual errors, such as providing insufficient notice of a rule, failing to set measurable performance expectations, committing due process violations, and more.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Structure actions that are defensible on third party review.
  • Properly document an employee’s poor performance before a PIP.
  • Draft effective charges that hold up to third-party scrutiny.
Session 2
11:15 am – 12:30 pm EDT
Got Nexus? Accountability for Off-duty Conduct
Presented by Bob Woods, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

(Earn 1.25 CLE credits)

The borderline between on-duty and off-duty has become blurred as of late, with a majority of employees working from home and the omnipresence of social media. Yet, one thing has remained clear and constant: If you’re going to discipline someone for what they do on their own time, you need to show a nexus between the employee’s actions and their Federal job. FELTG Instructor Robert Woods will help you untangle your most challenging off-duty misconduct scenarios and illustrate the situations where the conduct is so egregious as to create a rebuttable presumption of nexus.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Demonstrate nexus between the off-duty conduct and the efficiency of the service.
  • Understand how Douglas Factor Eight: Notoriety and Agency Reputation can create nexus.
  • Select an effective and defensible penalty for off-duty conduct.

Session 3

1:30 – 2:45 pm EDT
Medical Certification Requirements for Sick Leave and FMLA
Presented by Barbara Haga, President/Federal HR Services, FELTG Senior Instructor

(Earn 1.25 CLE credits)

Challenging situations involving sick leave and FMLA are, unfortunately, neither rare nor easy to solve. For example: An employee brings in a medical statement in support of her FMLA request. The statement only says that the employee is “unable to work.” Here’s another one: An employee refuses to bring medical documentation to support three weeks of absence to care for a family member who has a serious health condition. Or what about the employee who claims, for the first time during an MSPB appeal, that she was not AWOL and should have been entitled to sick leave. FELTG Senior Instructor Barbara Haga will provide the solutions to these scenarios, explain how MSPB decisions inform discussions about requirements for medical certification, share OPM’s requirements for revoking retroactive FMLA, and more.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Recognize the different medical certification requirements for sick leave and for FMLA.
  • Implement clear policies on deadlines for submitting medical certification.
  • Explain the requirement for granting provisional leave under the FMLA.
Session 4
3:15 – 4:30 pm EDT
Tools for Accountability: Position Descriptions, Performance Standards, and Medical Requirements
Presented by Barbara Haga, President/Federal HR Services, FELTG Senior Instructor

(Earn 1.25 CLE credits)

There is a lot of confusion about where the authority comes from to hold employees accountable for many things related to their positions, whether it’s medical requirements to hold licenses and certifications, work rules for proper use of credit cards and completing mandatory training, or successful performance of the key functions of their jobs. FELTG Senior Instructor Barbara Haga will explain how to maximize the effectiveness of the various tools management can employ to establish requirements and then deal with situations when employees fail to meet those requirements.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Ensure effective use of well-crafted position descriptions.
  • Implement conduct standards that cover the full gamut of expectations that employees must meet.
  • Develop effective and workable performance plans to accurately capture how well employees perform.


Wednesday, September 29, 2020

Spotlight on Challenges

 

Session 5
9:30 – 10:45 am EDT
Re-boarding: Strategies to Support a Successful Return to the Office
Presented by Anthony Marchese, PhD, Author/Coach/Consultant, FELTG Instructor

 

Most Federal employees are still working remotely, though many of them may soon make a return to the physical workplace. The remote work experience of the last 18 months has provided us with many lessons learned, research findings, and best practices to help supervisors seize the opportunity to nurture a workforce that is stronger and more resilient than ever before. During this session, FELTG Instructor Anthony Marchese, PhD, will share practical strategies for supervisors and advisers to help your employees return to the office smarter, stronger, and more satisfied with work.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Reset expectations and accountability in the post-pandemic workplace.
  • Improve communication and collaboration among hybrid teams.
  • Create a culture of candor and connection.
Session 6
11:15 am – 12:30 pm EDT
Resolving Conflicts Before They Lead to Litigation
Presented by Marcus Hill, Principal/Hill Management Consultancy (HMC) LLC, FELTG Instructor

 

As a Federal supervisor, it’s not a matter of if you will ever experience conflict within the workplace, but when. While workforce diversity is without a doubt an organizational strength, it can also make resolving conflict more difficult due to varying perspectives, orientations, and backgrounds. Conflict that is properly managed can be very beneficial to organizational performance and mission effectiveness. Marcus L. Hill, a recently retired Federal senior executive, will discuss common causes that create workplace conflicts, as well as strategies and practices supervisors can employ to resolve conflict before it leads to workplace chaos, organizational ineffectiveness, and costly litigation.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Identify the common types of conflicts that exists within organizations.
  • Identify conflict management styles, strategies and tools, and when to apply them.
  • Create an organizational culture that builds staff trust through inclusivity, promotes workplace harmony, and inspires innovative problem-solving to resolve conflict.
Session 7
1:30 – 2:45 pm EDT
Identifying and Eliminating Microaggressions in the Workplace
Presented by Meghan Droste, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

(Earn 1.25 EEO counselor & investigator refresher hours and 1.25 CLE credits)

FELTG Instructor Meghan Droste, attorney at law, will explain what microaggressions look like in their various forms — including microinsults, microassaults, and microinvalidations. If those words are all new to you, you’re not alone – but it’s time to get up to speed. Ms. Droste will share an implicit bias test, explain its impact, and provide examples where bias can lead to EEO and non-EEO discrimination and harassment.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Determine when bias or microaggression leads to the level of discrimination.
  • Identify acts of microaggression and acts influenced by implicit bias.
  • Respond appropriately and effectively when you see a microaggression in the workplace.
Session 8
3:15 – 4:30 pm EDT
The Reasonable Accommodation Mistakes Agencies Make
Presented by Meghan Droste, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

(Earn 1.25 EEO counselor & investigator refresher hours and 1.25 CLE credits)

Oftentimes, the best way to learn is by making mistakes. But not when it comes to reasonable accommodation law. Instead, learn from the blunders that other agencies have already made to prepare your agency to do things the right way. Meghan Droste will share those mistakes, covering everything from the interactive process to telework to undue hardship, to raise awareness of the biggest mistakes and how to avoid them.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Determine when to offer an accommodation different from the one requested.
  • Recognize when leave would be considered an appropriate accommodation.
  • Identify the agency defenses that have been successful when denying a reasonable accommodation request.

 



Thursday, September 30, 2020

Spotlight on Trends

 

Session 9
9:30 – 10:45 am EDT
The Changing Nature of Hostile Work Environment Claims
Presented by Katherine Atkinson, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

(Earn 1.25 EEO counselor & investigator refresher hours and 1.25 CLE credits)

Unfortunately, the Federal workplace is not immune to reprehensible harassing behavior. As the pandemic raged and employees remained home, many thought that hostile work environment incidents would wane, yet the targets of hostile work environment merely expanded and changed. More harassment was aimed at Asian American and Pacific Islanders and LGBTQ employees, and harassment took more virtual forms including email and social media. Katherine Atkinson will discuss in clear terms the law on hostile work environment claims, amid the changing nature of the harassing behavior.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Determine when an agency could be held liable for hostile work environment.
  • Raise awareness to prevent harassment from taking place.
  • Take prompt and effective corrective action when harassment is alleged.
Session 10
11:15 am – 12:30 pm EDT
High Times and Misdemeanors: Weed and the Workplace
Presented by Deborah J. Hopkins, Attorney at Law, FELTG President

(Earn 1.25 CLE credits)

Recreational marijuana is legal in almost a dozen states and the District of Columbia, and its use for medical purposes is now legal in 30-plus states. What does that mean for Federal workers in those locations? Could their careers still go up in smoke for a “legal” activity? Are you required to accommodate an employee’s medically certified marijuana usage? What should you do if the Federal employee is married to someone who legally grows marijuana? Should you overlook an employee’s suspected marijuana usage because it makes him more pleasant to work with? FELTG President Deborah Hopkins will review the laws that apply to Federal employees and share the most effective approach to managing and/or disciplining employees when their drug usage seeps into the workplace.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Craft the right charge when disciplining an employee for marijuana usage.
  • Determine when it’s appropriate to require an employee to take a drug test.
  • Handle an employee who has lied about previous marijuana usage.
Session 11
1:30 – 2:45 pm EDT
Preparing for the Surge in Accommodation Requests for Telework
Presented by Ann Boehm, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

(Earn 1.25 EEO counselor & investigator refresher hours and 1.25 CLE credits)

By most accounts, the great telework experiment worked. And as employees are directed to return to the physical workplace, it’s widely expected that requests for telework as a reasonable accommodation for disability (and, perhaps, for religious reasons) will increase significantly. Are you prepared for these requests? Do you have a proper procedure in place? What do you need to know about the interactive process? Ann Boehm discusses it all.

 

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn:

  • How to determine whether telework would be an effective accommodation.
  • When an agency can legally deny telework as an accommodation.
  • What the EEOC says about accommodating an employee’s commute.
Session 12
3:15 – 4:30 pm EDT
Case Law Update, Part I: MSPB, EEOC, and Fed Circuit
Presented by Ann Boehm, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

(Earn 1.25 CLE credits)

In Federal employment law, things can change quickly. FELTG Instructor Ann Boehm will review the most recent and relevant cases, regulations, studies and reports from OPM, the EEOC, the courts, OSC, and (hopefully) the MSPB. Attendees will leave with knowledge of recent developments and with an in-depth analysis of the current employment law climate and its impact on the Federal workplace.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn:

  • How a few recent Federal Circuit decisions have caused a major change at the MSPB in the absence of a quorum.
  • The most updated guidance on Whistleblower protections.
  • Recent trends in EEOC case law.

 



Friday, October 1, 2020

Spotlight on Labor Relations

 

Session 13
9:30 – 10:45 am EDT
Case Law Update, Part II: FLRA and FSIP
Presented by Joseph Schimansky, Former Executive Director/FSIP, FELTG Instructor

(Earn 1.25 CLE credits)

Over the past year-and-a-half, the Federal Labor Relations Authority has released several precedent-altering decisions. The Federal Service Impasses Panel has also issued several noteworthy decisions, but a new panel is on its way. Join FELTG Instructor Joseph Schimansky, the former Executive Director of the Federal Service Impasses Panel, as he reviews the cases and explains what it all means for Federal counsel, HR professionals, Labor Relations practitioners, and union representatives.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn:

  • Which Trump FLRA decisions are most likely to be reversed by the Biden FLRA.
  • How the Biden FSIP will operate differently from the practices adopted by the Trump FSIP.
  • The latest updates on the appointment of new FLRA and FSIP Members by the Biden Administration.
Session 14
11:15 am – 12:30 pm EDT
Permissive Bargaining
Presented by Ann Boehm, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

(Earn 1.25 CLE credits)

Permissive bargaining isn’t really permissive now, thanks to Executive Order 14003.  Agencies must bargain over the 5 U.S.C. 7106(b)(1) topics.  But what are the topics that fall under 5 U.S.C. 7106(b)(1)? This course will help you understand the complicated world of negotiability, and it will also help agencies realize that bargaining over these topics isn’t the end of the world.

 

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn:

  • Determine best practices in dealing with negotiability determinations in light of EO 14003.
  • Develop effective negotiation strategies.
  • Implement communication strategies to ensure mission is not adversely impacted by labor negotiations.

 

Session 15
1:30 – 2:45 pm EDT
Requests for Information
Presented by Ann Boehm, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

(Earn 1.25 CLE credits)

Just about any federal labor relations professional has dealt with a union request for information, but they may not have handled it correctly.  This class will help anyone dealing with a union’s request for information ensure that the agency provides information that it owes the union, but also ensure that the unions are establishing a particularized need.  Engaging in the proper interactive process will help agencies avoid unfair labor practice complaints while providing only information that is legally required.

Learning takeaways

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Identify the rights and obligations of both agencies and unions regarding information requests.
  • Apply the “particularized need” standard.
  • Reply when the union fails to meet the “particularized need” standard.

 

Pricing

 

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?
    • This program is submitted for CLE credits to, and we anticipate approval by, the State Bar of Virginia. Individual 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 All Access registration options only. Group discounts are available through September 3.

 

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