Calendar

FELTG Executive Director Deborah Hopkins instructing a class
Apr
21
Tue
Virtual Training Event: Emerging Issues in Federal Employment Law
Apr 21 – Apr 23 all-day

Download Individual Registration Form

Event Description

These are challenging times for the federal workforce. Over three days, the FELTG Virtual Training Institute will broadcast nine live instructor-led sessions, aimed at providing you with the latest legal and practical guidance to meet these current challenges.

Renew your efforts to hold employees accountable for performance and conduct. Review your responsibilities regarding leave, reasonable accommodation, investigating harassment, and preventing discrimination in the workplace. Stay current on case law. Learn strategies for managing teleworkers – and for managing your own stress and handling employee stress during these trying times. And much more.

There’s no need to feel isolated – even if you’re working alone at home. The open enrollment FELTG Virtual Training Institute’s Emerging Issues in Federal Employment Law program offers opportunities to ask questions of FELTG’s experienced instructors, and get answers in real time. Plus, we’ll provide a forum for participants to get in touch and discuss the issues after the sessions are over.

You can register for any of the sessions individually. You can register for a whole day. Or you can register for the whole program. Earn CLE credits and EEO refresher training credits. Three days. Nine sessions. Eight instructors. We’d love to have you join us.

Download Individual Registration Form



Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Performance, Conduct and Legal Updates

Session 1
10:30 am – 12:00 pm EDT
Accountability for Conduct: Taking Defensible Disciplinary Actions
Presented by Deborah J. Hopkins, Attorney at Law, FELTG President

Course Description: This session begins with a discussion on the foundation of supervisory authority, and it will clarify the too-common misconceptions that prevent federal agencies from taking successful misconduct actions against employees. Attendees will learn the five elements that must be present in a disciplinary case, with a special focus on penalty justification and due process requirements. Attendees will leave with the guidance necessary to take defensible actions quickly and fairly – and to ensure that those actions will withstand scrutiny on appeal by the MSPB, EEOC, or in grievance arbitration. Earn 1.5 CLE credits.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Understand the legal definition of discipline, and which corrective actions are not discipline under the law.
  • Identify the legal elements required in every disciplinary case, and the standard of proof to take a defensible action.
  • Use the Douglas Factors in penalty determination.

Session 2
1:00 – 2:30 pm EDT
Unacceptable Performance: Streamlining the Procedures
Presented by William Wiley, Attorney at Law, FELTG Past President

Course Description: When it comes to poor performance, the one action you can’t afford to take is not taking action. Yet, when you do take a performance-based action, there are limitless mistakes that can trip you up and result in lost appeals. During this session, Bill Wiley shares the tools you need to confidently and effectively address poor performance, including initiating a performance demonstration period/PIP, the evidence and documentation needed to justify a performance-based action, and a secret trick on removing an employee for poor performance without using a demonstration period/PIP. After this session, attendees will have the tools necessary to remove an unacceptable performer in 31 days. Earn 1.5 CLE credits.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Recognize the standards of proof needed for a performance-based action.
  • Implement recent Executive Orders and OPM guidance into your performance procedures.
  • Successfully take a defensible performance-based action.

Session 3
3:00 – 4:30 pm EDT 
Federal Employment Law Update: Recent Developments at the EEOC, FLRA and MSPB
Presented by Ann Boehm, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course Description: In the world of federal employment law, things can change quickly; there has been more action in the past three years than in the last 35 years before. Join FELTG Instructor Ann Boehm for a review of the most recent and relevant cases, regulations, studies and reports from the EEOC, FLRA and MSPB, plus information from OPM and the Office of Special Counsel. She will also cover the very latest on Executive Orders 13836, 13836, 13837 and 13839. 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. Earn 1.5 CLE credits.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Identify the most critical recent decisions from the EEOC and FLRA.
  • Explain the status and impact of President Trump’s Executive Orders regarding the federal workplace.
  • Understand the current status of the MSPB and how the lack of quorum impacts agency actions and appeals.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Managing and Advising During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Session 4
10:30 am – 12:00 pm EDT
Handling Current Leave Challenges in the Federal Workplace
Presented by Barbara Haga, President/Federal HR Services, FELTG Senior Instructor

Course description: Barbara Haga will review some of the most pressing issues involving leave, including tough questions related to FMLA and sick leave, the paid family leave provisions expected to go into effect in October, and the flexibilities related to leave tied to the COVID-19 pandemic including weather and safety leave. Attendees will come away with an array of knowledge for handling the leave issues they’re likely to face in the coming weeks and months, and will be equipped for a successful return to more normal operations in the future.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Apply weather and safety leave standards during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Identify the provisions of the new paid family leave, and which employees are affected.
  • Manage requests for sick leave and FMLA, from near and far.

Session 5
1:00 – 2:30 pm EDT
Managing a Mobile Workforce: Tools for Accountability
Presented by Deborah J. Hopkins, Attorney at Law, FELTG President

Course description: One of the biggest challenges facing agencies during this COVID-19 Pandemic is that so much of the workforce is no longer in the workplace. How do you handle performance issues? What about conduct? Are work expectations lowered or amended when people telework in emergency situations? What are the pitfalls or best practices for managing employees from afar? Using anecdotes from her decade of experience managing a remote workforce, FELTG President Deborah J. Hopkins will provide the answers and share exclusive tips you shouldn’t miss. Earn 1.5 CLE credits

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Communicate expectations to employees who are new to telework.
  • Conduct a performance demonstration period while an employee is working remotely.
  • Identify the telework performance pitfalls for employees and supervisors.

Session 6
3:00 – 4:30 pm EDT
Strategies for Stress: Effectively Coping in a COVID-19 World
Presented by Shana Palmieri, LCSW, FELTG Instructor

Course description: The COVID-19 pandemic has required all of us to make major lifestyle changes, whether you’re in the office or working from home. Our lives have quickly been altered, creating varying levels of anxiety and uncertainty. Change, stress and social isolation can significantly impact your health and job performance. Licensed Clinical Social Worker Shana Palmieri will guide you through how to manage change and stress for yourself and your employees so you can continue to focus on your agency’s mission – from wherever you happen to be working.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Manage workforce disruptions to successfully stay focused on work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Cope with social distancing and social isolation.
  • Recognize and manage stress levels that, when unaddressed, impact your work performance and overall wellness.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

EEO Challenges in the Federal Workplace

Session 7
10:30 am – 12:00 pm EDT
Preventing and Correcting Discrimination: A Focus on Race, Color, and National Origin
Presented by Ricky Rowe, Former National EEO Manager/Veterans Affairs, FELTG Instructor

Course description: During stressful times, there is often a desire to find something, or someone, to blame. In some cases, employees perceive a conflict with agency management to be motivated by an illegal reason. And every now and then, an agency official engages in unlawful discrimination, and then the agency has a responsibility to make amends with the employee. FELTG Instructor Ricky Rowe will use his 38 years of federal sector EEO and HR experience to address these scenarios with a review of relevant EEOC decisions involving employee race, color and national origin, and will share timely and critical information to ensure that your workplace is safe and inclusive for all. Earn 1.5 EEO refresher training hours by attending this session.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Identify the discrimination theories where race, color and national origin could form the basis of a complaint.
  • Recognize and immediately address instances of race, color, and national origin discrimination in the workplace.
  • Determine when language-restrictive policies are discriminatory – and when they are permitted.

Session 8
1:00 – 2:30 pm EDT
Conducting Effective Harassment Investigations
Presented by Katherine Atkinson, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course description: If there’s one topic on every agency’s front burner, it’s harassment. FELTG Instructor Katherine Atkinson will explain the differences between EEO and non-EEO harassment, and the critical steps that agencies should take when investigating misconduct. An incomplete investigation could cost you the case, so it’s imperative to understand the requirements for a legally sufficient harassment investigation. Attendees will leave with useful guidance and practical tools to help them complete an effective and thorough investigation. Earn 1.5 EEO refresher training hours by attending this session. Earn 1.5 CLE credits.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Address the issue of harassment as misconduct, not just an EEO issue.
  • Identify the numerous forms that harassment takes.
  • Interview all relevant parties in a harassment investigation: the complainant, the accused, and material witnesses.

Session 9
3:00 – 4:30 pm EDT
Reasonable Accommodation in the Federal Workplace: Challenges and Solutions for 2020
Presented by Meghan Droste, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course description: Reasonable accommodation for disabilities intersects with every aspect of the federal workforce: conduct, performance, leave, telework, and more. FELTG Instructor Meghan Droste will explain answers to the most common questions including: What does qualified individual really mean? What is the agency required to do during the interactive process? Must I provide a provisional accommodation? Do I have to grant telework as an accommodation? Is providing a new supervisor a reasonable accommodation? You’ll receive guidance on other perplexing reasonable accommodation challenges, and discuss the mistakes agencies have made in recent cases – so you can avoid similar mistakes. You can’t afford to miss this session. Earn 1.5 EEO refresher hours and 1.5 CLE credits.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Make legal disability determinations.
  • Understand “qualified individual” standard.
  • Provide the most effective reasonable accommodation to allow the employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job.

 


Price

  • Early Bird Tuition (register by April 14): One Session = $100  |  Three Sessions = $250  |  All Access = $700
  • Standard Tuition (register April 15-23): One Session = $115  |  Three Sessions = $275  |  All Access = $750
  • Rates per registrant.
  • Want to register a group? Group discounts are available through April 14. Contact FELTG.
  • REGISTER NOW.

 

Event FAQs

  • Can I attend Virtual Training from my government computer?
    • FELTG uses Zoom Webinars (not Zoom Meetings) to broadcast its Virtual Training Institute events. Many government computers and systems allow Zoom 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.
  • How do I claim CLE or EEO refresher credits?
    • This program has been submitted (and we anticipate this program will be approved) for Virginia CLE credits. Members of other state bars must submit for CLE credit on their own. Upon request FELTG will provide attendees with a CLE sample packet containing relevant information they can submit to their state bar. Attendees may also request a certificate of completion which will contain the number of training hours you attended, and will designate how many EEO refresher hours were earned.
  • What if I want to attend a session but have a schedule conflict?
    • FELTG plans to record every session, and will make recordings available for purchase after the conclusion of the event.
  • 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 based on the number of sessions attended by employees in an organization. If an agency wishes to register participants for 45 sessions, a group discount will apply if all registrations received and paid for together. For example, that’s 5 all-access registrations; or 15 people attending three sessions each; or 45 people attending one session each. Group discounts are available through April 14.

 

May
18
Mon
Virtual Training Event: Conducting Effective Harassment Investigations
May 18 – May 20 all-day

Download Individual Registration Form

Event Description

Investigating harassment in your agency can be an intimidating assignment, one that is rife with innuendo, conflicting accounts, and raw emotions. Ensuring that your investigation is legally compliant and protects employees, while helping the agency minimize liability, is a taxing task. It’s even more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic when most investigations must be done virtually.

Together, these three instructor-led live training sessions will provide a solid basis for a successful and effective approach to conducting legally-sufficient harassment investigations that stand up upon third-party review. Peruse MSPB and EEOC cases and you’ll find that poorly conducted investigations are far more common than they should be, and the cost of these investigations to agencies are bigger than you’d expect.

Understand the differences between EEO and non-EEO harassment. Learn the best techniques to conduct an investigation – whether onsite or virtually. Write a report that covers all the crucial information. And much more.

This open enrollment FELTG Virtual Training Institute program Conducting Effective Harassment Investigations offers opportunities to ask questions of FELTG’s experienced instructors, and get answers in real time. Plus, this program fulfills the requirements for 8-hour annual EEO investigator refresher training.

You can register for any of the sessions individually, or you can register for all three. This program runs from 12:30 – 4:00 eastern each day, with a 30-minute break from 2:00 – 2:30 eastern.

Download Individual Registration Form



Monday, May 18, 2020

Session 1: Investigating Harassment: Misconduct Principles

12:30 pm – 4:00 pm EDT (break from 2:00 – 2:30)
Presented by Deborah J. Hopkins, Attorney at Law, FELTG President

Course Description: An effective harassment investigation begins with a solid foundation of misconduct law in the federal workplace. Attorney and FELTG President Deborah J. Hopkins will explain the principles that underpin a successful investigation of federal employee misconduct, whether it’s on-duty or off-duty. Attendees will learn the five elements of discipline and understand how they relate to the misconduct investigation process. Plus, they’ll learn about evidence standards and burdens of proof in misconduct cases, how Douglas factors play in to an investigation, the importance of nexus, what to do when a witness won’t cooperate, and much more.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Identify the relationship between the foundations of federal accountability and misconduct investigations.
  • Identify and collect relevant penalty evidence during the investigation.
  • Recognize the mistakes that derail effective misconduct and harassment investigations.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Session 2: Understanding Harassment and Planning the Investigation

12:30 pm – 4:00 pm EDT (break from 2:00 – 2:30)
Presented by Katherine Atkinson, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course description: What is the scope of the investigation? Who should you interview? What documents are you going to need? Preparing your investigative plan is a critical step in developing a legally sufficient investigation. Attorney Katherine Atkinson will explain the proper role of the investigator and how you can avoid the pitfalls of an insufficient investigation with the proper preparation and knowledge. Plus, she’ll answer important questions about representation: Does the witness have the right to a representative? Does the union have a right to attend the interview – even if the witness doesn’t want the union there? What rights does agency management have in the process?

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Discern the difference between EEO and non-EEO harassment, and the impact that has on the investigations’ legal sufficiency.
  • Identify witness rights and management rights.
  • Recognize the three basic characteristics of evidence in a harassment investigation.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Session 3: Conducting the Investigation and Writing the Report

12:30 pm – 4:00 pm EDT (break from 2:00 – 2:30)
Presented by Meghan Droste, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course description: Attorney Meghan Droste will share legal principles and proven guidance to navigate this most critical and challenging part of harassment investigations: conducting the interviews and gathering relevant evidence. Attendees will leave the session with techniques for questioning, tools for reading body language, suggestions on how to handle difficult personality types, and tips for writing the fact-finding report (FFR) and report of investigation (ROI). Ms. Droste will also share how technology is changing the investigation process, including a very timely discussion of conducting virtual interviews.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Identify the similarities and differences in conducting onsite and virtual interviews.
  • Apply logic and judgment to evaluate conflicting statements.
  • Write a fulsome report on the findings from the harassment investigation.


Price

  • Early Bird Tuition (register by May 8): One Session = $240  |  Two Sessions = $480  |  Full Event = $645
  • Standard Tuition (register May 9-May 20): One Session = $255  |  Two Sessions = $510  |  Full Event = $695
  • Rates per registrant.
  • Want to register a group? Group discounts are available through May 8. Contact FELTG.
  • REGISTER NOW.

 

Event FAQs

  • Can I attend Virtual Training from my government computer?
    • FELTG uses Zoom Webinars (not Zoom Meetings) to broadcast its Virtual Training Institute events. Many government computers and systems allow Zoom 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.
  • How do I claim CLE or EEO refresher credits?
    • This program has been submitted (and we anticipate this program will be approved) for Virginia CLE credits. Members of other state bars must submit for CLE credit on their own. Upon request FELTG will provide attendees with a CLE sample packet containing relevant information they can submit to their state bar. Attendees may also request a certificate of completion which will contain the number of training hours you attended, and will designate how many EEO refresher hours were earned.
  • What if I want to attend a session but have a schedule conflict?
    • FELTG plans to record every session, and will make recordings available for purchase after the conclusion of the event.
  • 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 based on the number of sessions attended by employees in an organization. If an agency wishes to register participants for a total of 15 sessions, a group discount will apply if all registrations received and paid for together. For example, that could be 5 Full Event registrations; or 15 people attending one session each. Group discounts are available through May 8.

 

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