FELTG Executive Director Deborah Hopkins instructing a class
Virtual Training Event – Absence, Leave Abuse & Medical Issues Week
Apr 12 – Apr 16 all-day

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Course Description

Federal employees enjoy a wide variety of leave-related benefits. However, many of us would never use the words “enjoy” and “leave” so closely together. Whether you’re an HR professional, employee relations practitioner, EEO specialist, supervisor, or agency counsel, you have undoubtedly faced a leave-related challenge. FELTG’s Absence, Leave Abuse & Medical Issues Week will give you the critical foundation you need to address the most complex areas of federal employment law, including the recent challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our speakers will discuss sick leave, annual leave, leave without pay, absence without leave, and FMLA. Then they will tackle the most current, relevant topics, such as disciplining employees for leave abuse, dealing with medical issues and unacceptable performance, leave and reasonable accommodation, medical documentation, medical exams, and more.

If you attend, you’re going to learn an awful lot about “leave” and you’re going to “enjoy” the training.

The program runs 12:00 – 4:00 each day, with a break from 1:45-2:15 (all times eastern). Participants will receive program materials via email the week before the training.

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Who Should Attend

Attorneys; Labor and Employee Relations Specialists; EEO managers and directors; EEO specialists; Reasonable Accommodation Coordinators; federal supervisors and managers; union representatives.


Barbara Haga, Deborah Hopkins, Katherine Atkinson, Meghan Droste 

Daily Agenda:

Monday, April 12

Leave Use Overview: Course topics: Emergency Paid Sick Leave, Sick Leave: eligibility, notification requirements, medical certification, dealing with abuse, Additional Leave Entitlements, Administrative Leave.

Tuesday, April 13

FMLA Law and Policy: Course topics: FMLA:  eligibility, notification requirements, definition of serious health condition, medical certification, intermittent use, and Paid Family Leave.

Wednesday, April 14

Leave-Related Discipline & Medical Removals: Course topics: The five elements of discipline; leave-related misconduct; documentation necessary to discipline an employee for leave-related misconduct and leave abuse; AWOL charges; excessive absence removals; medical inability to perform removals.

Thursday, April 15 

Reasonable Accommodation: Entitlements and Processes: Course topics: The ADA Amendments Act; the Rehabilitation Act; the reasonable accommodation process; the “regarded as” provision of the ADA; telework and leave as reasonable accommodation; flexible work schedules and alternative work locations; religious accommodation.

Friday, April 16

Medical Documentation, Medical Requests and Record Confidentiality: Course topics: How the ADAAA and GINA impact the collection of medical information; pre- and post-employment medical exams and inquiries; conditional employment offers; medical documentation requests; direct threat; conflicting regulations and contra court decisions.


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 March 29):

  • 5 days = $1475
  • 4 days = $1195
  • 3 days = $910
  • 2 days = $630
  • 1 day = $345

Standard Tuition (register March 30 – April 16):

  • 5 days = $1550
  • 4 days = $1285
  • 3 days = $975
  • 2 days = $685
  • 1 day = $395

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 March 29.
Webinar – Justifying Your PIP? What the Recent Precedent-Breaking Fed Circuit Decision Means
Apr 13 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

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Deborah Hopkins

Bob Woods

Course Description

The Federal Circuit recently overturned 40 years of precedent in its Santos v. NASA decision, ruling that agencies under MSPB jurisdiction must have substantial evidence that the employee was performing poorly BEFORE the agency is allowed to put the employee on a PIP.

So, what kinds of evidence do you need pre-PIP? Can an employee grieve your decision to put him on a PIP? Who has the burden to prove whether a performance plan was discriminatory? And, exactly how much poor performance is needed to show a “continued” pattern of poor performance, as is now required?

In this 60-minute webinar, FELTG President Deborah Hopkins and FELTG Instructor Bob Woods will explain how this case drastically changes the way agencies handle instances of employee poor performance, and what’s required to satisfy the new requirements in Santos. While this is a significant change, good news: it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think and, in fact, may even help you protect the agency against claims of reprisal or discrimination. Ms. Hopkins will walk you through other details in Santos and share some of the pitfalls that could lead to a questioning of whether putting the employee on the performance improvement plan was appropriate.

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Assess what constitutes “continued” poor performance.
  • Determine when there is enough evidence to put an employee on a PIP.
  • Document your justification for putting the employee on a PIP.


  • Early Bird Tuition (payment required by April 2): $285
  • Standard Tuition (payment made by April 3 later): $315

Teleworkers may be added to a main site registration for $50 per teleworker, on a space-available basis.

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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