April 2017 Federal Employment Law Training Group Newsletter
How’s Your Year Going So Far?
The workload at the Merit Systems Protection Board is relatively steady (except in years that Congress causes a bunch of Stupid Sequestration© furloughs). Each Board member has to physically handle and mentally consider about five to six cases per work day in order to stay even with the in-flow of appeals. Take a day off for R&R and there will be around 12 cases waiting for you the next day. No one can do your work for you because you’re anointed by the President and the Senate as the decision maker in each appeal. As our astute readers know, effective January 6, due to the premature resignation of one of its two remaining members, MSPB had to turn off the lights. With only one member left, the Board has lacked since then the necessary quorum of two members to issue decisions. Eventually, President Trump will nominate a replacement or two to fill the vacancies at the Board. Think what will be awaiting those new members once the Senate confirms them: a backlog that has been building every day since January 6. As of today, that’s about 400-450 cases just sitting there. Waiting. Growing in size by an additional six cases every day. Denying closure to appellants. Building up back pay liability for agencies. Think of everything you’ve done in your delightful government job since December. Picture all that being undone, that you would have to relearn your job to do it again (similar to what will happen if the President nominates a neophyte to be a Board member), and that you were told to re-do everything that you’ve already done. That’s the challenge that will be facing the new Board members. Are you looking to move up in government? If you accept an appointment at the Board, you can kiss that summer vacation goodbye, my friend. And maybe even Thanksgiving, depending on when the Senate gets around to blessing your little heart to be a Board member.
By Barbara Haga, April 19, 2017 I was going to write about performance plans this month, but a situation about some advice given by an HR practitioner has been gnawing at me for a while and I need to vent. Background Commonly a situation comes up in a class somewhere...read more
By Deryn Sumner, April 19, 2017 In the January edition of this newsletter, I discussed the importance of ensuring that the terms of settlement are properly contained within the “four corners” of a settlement agreement and clearly understood by everyone involved. Just...read more
By Deborah Hopkins, April 19, 2017 A few weeks ago I made a trip from my Petworth condo down to the Prettyman Courthouse on Constitution Avenue, just blocks from the U.S. Capitol. The reason? FELTG’s own stellar instructor Katie Atkinson was scheduled to present oral...read more
By William Wiley, April 19, 2017 All right all you brilliant legal-like minds out there. Work through this law with me. What do you think this means, and why did Congress say it? 5 U.S.C. 1214: (f) During any investigation initiated under this subchapter, no...read more
By Deryn Sumner, April 19, 2017 As we’ve apprised the FELTG audience before, there has been a steady progression over the years regarding how claims of sexual orientation discrimination have been processed by the Commission. Initially, such claims were outright...read more
By William Wiley, April 19, 2017 Over drinks and dinner the other night, our favorite time to pontificate on the fate of the civil service, Deb, Ernie Hadley, and I came up with the following fascinating facts: There are five Commissioners at EEOC. Each is appointed...read more
By Deryn Sumner, April 19, 2017 Our mantra for fashioning remedies in employment discrimination cases is that the victim of discrimination should be placed, as closely as possible, in the position he or she held prior to the discrimination. In claims of...read more
By William Wiley, April 19, 2017 Questions, we get wonderful questions. This one came after a recent webinar we presented in which we encouraged participants to get the employee out of the workplace once removal is proposed. First, our participant’s question: The...read more