Calendar

FELTG Executive Director Deborah Hopkins instructing a class
Apr
27
Tue
Virtual Training Event – Emerging Issues in Federal Employment Law
Apr 27 – Apr 30 all-day

Download Registration Form

Event Description

A brand-new administration with starkly different priorities than the previous White House occupants. A massive effort to return to pre-pandemic normalcy in the workplace. New case law eventually emerging from EEOC, FLRA, and, possibly, MSPB. This year in the federal employment law world is bound to be one of change and challenge. Over four days, the FELTG Virtual Training Institute’s second annual Emerging Issues in Federal Employment Law event will focus on complying with laws, regulations, and Executive Orders under a new administration.

This event offers 15 live instructor-led sessions, aimed at providing you with the latest legal and practical guidance to meet the current situation. Renew your efforts to hold employees accountable for roller-coaster performance. Identify the mistakes holding you back from taking misconduct actions that withstand third-party scrutiny. Take steps to prevent and correct harassment. Find out how to address contractors’ EEO complaints. Review your responsibilities for handling the new complexities of leave, reasonable accommodation requests involving animals, and preventing and correcting workplace harassment. Learn strategies for managing teleworkers. Get the latest on case law and all other developments at the EEOC, FLRA, and MSPB. Review the EEO lessons learned – and still being learned – from COVID-19.  And much much more. Don’t put off getting the important training you need. The open enrollment FELTG Virtual Training Institute’s Emerging Issues in Federal Employment Law program provides benefits you won’t get from other online conference providers. You can register for any of the sessions individually, or you can register for the whole program. You receive opportunities to ask questions of FELTG’s experienced instructors, and get answers in real time. Earn CLE credits and EEO refresher training credits. Four days. Fifteen sessions. Eleven instructors. We’d love to have you join us.

Download Individual Registration Form

This program meets the President’s mandate to provide training on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the Federal workplace.



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

MSPB Day

 

Session 1
9:30 – 10:45 am EDT

 

What to Expect When You’re Expecting a New Board
Presented by Deborah J. Hopkins, Attorney at Law, FELTG President

Course Description: Once again, we have a glimmer of hope that a new Board will be nominated and voted into place at the MSPB. What does this mean for federal HR professionals? What does this mean for all those agencies and employees whose cases have been piling up unread at the Board? How will Executive Order 14003 and OPM regulations fit into the picture? How is the Board impacted by the decisions the Federal Circuit has been making in its absence of a quorum? FELTG President Deborah Hopkins will give an overview of what we can expect in the upcoming months from a new MSPB, the challenges awaiting the incoming members, and where the Board might stand on critical issues like performance and conduct accountability under the Biden Administration. Earn 1.25 CLE credits.


Session 2
11:15 am  – 12:30 pm EDT

 

What Do You Do With the Douglas Factors?
Presented by Ann Boehm, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course Description: You likely know those 12 factors identified in the landmark 1981 MSPB decision that birthed their name. But do you know how to use them to determine the appropriate penalty? Attorney Ann Boehm will share case law highlighting how agencies correctly use the Douglas factors and, more importantly, how they were misapplied. She will answer all your Douglas questions, such as: Do the factors go in the proposal or the decision? What do OPM’s new regs say about the Douglas factors? In light of the Accountability Act, does the VA still have to do Douglas factors? Attendees will leave this session with the knowledge to avoid the too-common Douglas mistakes. Earn 1.25 CLE credits.


Session 3
1:30 – 2:45 pm EDT 

 

The Roller Coaster Employee: Managing Up-and-Down Performance
Presented by Robert Woods, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course Description: You’ve undoubtedly seen it several times, and it’s always frustrating. An employee is put on a performance demonstration period (DP, PIP, ODAP – or whatever your agency calls it) and does well enough to stay in his position. But when the DP ends, his performance dips again. As employees return en masse and attempt to re-adjust to the physical workplace, it’s highly likely that you’ll see some drops in performance  – whether they employees are on a DP or not. Attorney Bob Woods will explain how to effectively and efficiently handle wide swings in performance. Earn 1.25 CLE credits.


Session 4
3:15 pm – 4:30 pm EDT

 

When Employees Go Insubordinate: Don’t Mess With the Wrong Elements
Presented by Deborah J. Hopkins, Attorney at Law, FELTG President; and Marcus Hill, former Senior Executive Advisor/Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, FELTG Instructor

Course Description: If you’ve ever been a supervisor or advised one, then you’ve most likely dealt with an employee who did not do what he was asked, or, possibly, did the exact opposite. That may sound like a good definition of insubordination for Webster’s Dictionary, but it’s not going to work for the MSPB.  Charges of workplace misconduct have specific legal definitions, which include elements. And to prove a charge, you need to prove all of its elements. FELTG President Deborah Hopkins will walk you through the elements of insubordination and the factors that determine how to best deal with employees who disobey, or refuse to follow, management orders. Earn 1.25 CLE credits.

 



Wednesday, April 28, 2021

EEOC Day

 

Session 5
9:30 am – 10:45 am EDT

 

Preventing and Correcting Hostile Work Environment Harassment
Presented by Meghan Droste, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course description: Not all hostile work environment cases involve sexual harassment. However, as attorney Meghan Droste will show you, a large majority do. And yet, hostile environment harassment is often alleged based on all of the protected categories –  sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, genetic information, or reprisal. Ms. Droste will define the “nature of the conduct,” as well as the “unwelcome” and the “sufficiently severe or pervasive” requirements. She’ll also discuss agency and supervisor liability, share successful prevention techniques, and the provisions of Executive Order 13985 and 13988 that apply to Federal agencies. Earn 1.25 CLE credits. 1.25


Session 6
11:15 am – 12:30 pm EDT

 

Barking Up the Wrong Tree? Service and Therapy Animals in the Workspace
Presented by Deborah J. Hopkins, Attorney at Law, FELTG President; and Ricky Rowe, Former National EEO Manager/Veterans Affairs, FELTG Instructor

Course description: Pet ownership increased and animal shelters emptied during COVID-enforced lockdowns in 2020. Undoubtedly, remote workers have enjoyed the therapeutic benefits that come with owning a pet. But does that make their new furry friends therapy or emotional support animals? And can no-longer-remote employees bring their new four-legged friends to the workplace? In most cases, the answer is an easy no. But if it’s a reasonable accommodation request, the answer isn’t quite as definitive. The EEOC’s stance that an emotional support animal may be a required reasonable accommodation for a qualified individual with a disability, even if it is not a trained service dog, fails to provide an easy answer. FELTG President Deborah Hopkins will explain the difference between a service animal and a therapy animal, and provide guidance on how to determine if an emotional support animal would be a reasonable accommodation for an individual with a disability. Earn 1.25 CLE credits. 1.25


Session 7
1:30 – 2:45 pm EDT

 

What to Do When Contractors File EEO Complaints
Presented by Robert Woods, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course description: A federal contractor may file a formal EEO complaint if the agency is determined to be a “joint employer.” How do you determine if you are a joint employer? That determination begins with the case Ma v. HHS. Attorney Bob Woods will walk you through how to apply the Ma factors to your situation. He’ll also explain the roles and responsibilities of agency personnel when contractors start the EEO process, as well as defenses to the “joint employer” allegation. Earn 1.25 CLE credits. 1.25


Session 8
3:15 – 4:30 pm EDT

 

COVID-19 and EEO: What We’ve Learned and What We Still Need to Know
Presented by Katherine Atkinson, Attorney at Law FELTG Instructor

Course description: The pandemic turned the federal workplace upside down, creating numerous unique situations for supervisors and EEO professionals. Increased vaccinations have eased the burden somewhat, but many EEO challenges remain. Attorney Katherine Atkinson will walk you through some of these remaining challenges, and share the EEO lessons learned from  that past year. Attendees will leave with a basic EEO framework that can be used to address COVID-related issues as well as other challenges long after the virus is eradicated. Earn 1.25 CLE credits. 1.25



Thursday, April 29, 2021

Emerging Trends Day

 

Session 9
9:30 – 10:45 am EDT

 

Leave for the Federal Employee in 2021
Presented by Barbara Haga, President/Federal HR Services, FELTG Senior Instructor

Course description: Rules about leave and attendance have always been complicated. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the complexities grew. FELTG Senior Instructor Barbara Haga will give an overview of leave entitlements with a focus on new Paid Parental Leave (PPL), and recent modifications to FMLA, use of COVID-related weather and safety leave and sick leave. Earn 1.25 CLE credits.

 


Session 10
11:15 am – 12:30 pm EDT

 

The Telework Tango: Communication and Feedback for a Remote Workplace
Presented by Anthony Marchese, PhD., Consultant/Author/Trainer, FELTG Instructor

Course description: One of the biggest surprises of the pandemic was how well many Federal employees transitioned to 100% telework. It was so successful that many employees and agencies expect telework opportunities to expand in a post-pandemic world. Anthony Marchese will explain how to tweak and improve your management and communication skills for a remote staff, with specific guidance on providing employee feedback and setting expectations in a virtual world.


Session 11
1:30 – 2:30 pm EDT

 

Addressing Microaggressions and Bias in the Federal Workplace
Presented by Meghan Droste, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course description: Microaggressions, whether intentional or not, can be very hurtful to the employees who experience them. Microaggressions and implicit bias can lead to discrimination. FELTG Instructor Meghan Droste, attorney at law, will explain what microaggressions look like it in their various forms, and provide a quick review of EEO law, so you can determine when bias or microaggression might rise to the level of discrimination. Attend the session, learn how to comply with Executive Orders 13985 and 13988, and you’ll be well on your way to providing a safe and inclusive work environment for all employees. Earn 1.25 CLE credits. 1.25


Session 12
3:15 – 4:30 pm EDT

 

Legal Update: Recent Developments in Federal Employment Law, Part I (MSPB, EEOC, Federal Circuit)
Presented by Ann Boehm, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course description: 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, 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. Earn 1.25 CLE credits.



Friday, April 30, 2021

FLRA Day

 

Session 13
9:30 am – 10:45 pm EDT

 

Legal Update: Recent Developments in Federal Employment Law, Part II (FLRA, FSIP)
Presented by Joseph Schimansky, Former Executive Director/FSIP, FELTG Instructor

Course description: Over the past year, the Federal Labor Relations Authority has released several precedent-altering decisions. The Federal Service Impasses Panel has 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, and labor relations practitioners. Earn 1.25 CLE credits.


Session 14
11:15 am – 12:30 pm EDT

 

Labor-Management Partnerships: What if They Are Back in Vogue?
Presented by Ann Boehm, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course description: With a change in Administration often comes a new approach to labor management relations. And with a Democrat in the White House, we’re likely to soon see a push for a more collaborative method. Will it be like the Clinton-era partnerships? Or more like a Obama-era forums? FELTG Instructor Ann Boehm will explain what the new approach will likely look like, and how you and your agency can best prepare. Earn 1.25 CLE credits.


Session 15
1:30 – 2:45 pm EDT

 

Impact and Implementation Bargaining in the Federal Workplace
Presented by Joseph Schimansky, Former Executive Director/FSIP, FELTG Instructor

Course description: When an agency makes a change, it may trigger an obligation to negotiate. In late 2020, however, the Federal Labor Relations Authority released three precedent-breaking decisions that pushed the reset button on bargaining with unions. The Authority’s decision in U.S. Department of Education, in particular, seriously diluted that management obligation to negotiate. FELTG Instructor Joe Schimansky will explain the standard for triggering a duty to bargain over impact and implementation. Earn 1.25 CLE credits.


Price

  • Early Bird Tuition (register by April 13): One Session = $130  |  April 27-29 All Access = $1400 |  April 27-30 All Access with Labor Relations = $1725
  • Standard Tuition (register April 14-30): One Session = $160  |  April 27-29 All Access = $1500 |  April 27-30 All Access with Labor Relations = $1825
  • Rates per registrant.

 

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.
  • 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, and may use the materials provided by FELTG in submissions. Attendees may also request a certificate of completion which will contain the number of training hours attended, and will designate how many EEO refresher hours were earned.
  • Can I get HRCI credits for attending this class?
    • Each session is approved for 1.25 hours of HRCI general recertification credit. The HRCI course numbers will be available upon the conclusion of the training.
  • 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 April 13.

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.

 

Aug
2
Mon
Workplace Investigations Week – Denver
Aug 2 – Aug 6 all-day

COVID-19 Note: We are hoping to hold this class in person. If that is not possible the class will be held virtually.

Download Registration Form

This week focuses on conducting administrative investigations in the federal workplace with an emphasis on employee misconduct including workplace harassment. After an overview of the substantive law, participants will learn procedures and best practices for conducting investigations in the federal workplace, including planning the investigation, fact finding, collecting evidence, dealing with witnesses, understanding types of questioning, and testifying at hearing. The week concludes with a day focused on writing an investigative report.

Instructors

TBD

Daily Agenda

Administrative Investigations: The Substantive Basis: Why investigate; discipline law and elements; understanding charges of misconduct; collecting penalty evidence; law behind other types of administrative investigations; witness rights; union representation.

Tuesday

Harassment Investigations: Investigating allegations of harassment; differentiating between EEO and non-EEO harassment; the intersection with criminal investigations; special considerations in light of #MeToo and #TimesUp.

Wednesday

Conducting the Investigation, Part I: Evidentiary principles; purpose of investigation; preparing for the investigation; role of the investigator; planning the investigation. beginning the interview.

Thursday

Conducting the Investigation, Part II: Conducting the interview; handling difficult witnesses; assessing credibility/lies/hearing what isn’t said; body language; gathering other evidence; technology and investigations; high profile case considerations; testifying at an administrative hearing; rules for being an effective witness.

Friday

Writing the Investigative Report: Organizing for the report; establishing the chronology; writing for your audience; report writing style; report writing conventions; report organization; sample report.

Pricing

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 July 16):

  • 5 days = $2375
  • 4 days = $1995
  • 3 days = $1575
  • 2 days = $1100
  • 1 day = $575

Standard Tuition (register July 17-August 6):

  • 5 days = $2475
  • 4 days = $2095
  • 3 days = $1675
  • 2 days = $1200
  • 1 day = $675

 

Lodging

The host hotel, the Sheraton Denver West, has a limited block of rooms set aside at the per diem rate. Call the hotel directly at 303-987-2000 and mention this training event to receive the special rate.

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.

Oct
5
Tue
Virtual Training Event – Conducting Effective Harassment Investigations
Oct 5 – Oct 7 all-day

Download Registration Form

Event Description

Investigating harassment in your Federal 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. Participants will receive program materials via email on Monday, October 5.

Download Registration Form



Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Session 1: Investigating Harassment: Misconduct Principles

12:30 pm – 4:00 pm eastern (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.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Session 2: Understanding Harassment and Planning the Investigation

12:30 pm – 4:00 pm eastern (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.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

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. Atkinson 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 Sept 20): One Session = $340  |  Two Sessions = $650  |  Full Event = $900
  • Standard Tuition (register Sept 21 – Oct 7): One Session = $390  |  Two Sessions = $695  |  Full Event = $950
  • Rates per registrant. No split registrations permitted.
  • Want to register a group? Group discounts are available through Sept 20. Contact FELTG.
  • REGISTER NOW.

 

Event FAQs

  • Can I attend Virtual Training from my government computer?
    • FELTG uses Webex to broadcast 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 attendees for the full event. Group discounts are only available through September 20.

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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