August 2017 Federal Employment Law Training Group Newsletter
A Final Annual Anniversary?
It all started with a dirty toilet. In the early part of the last century, when a postal worker complained to his Congressman about the unsanitary conditions in the restrooms at a post office building where he worked, the President took offense at the “leaker” and fired him. Under Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Robert Taft, it was common for civil servants who leaked information to be fired. Federal employment back in the day was at-will, requiring neither good cause nor ANY cause to fire a federal worker. Well, Congress decided it didn’t like that. Under the leadership of Republican Senator Bob La Follette, the Lloyd-La Follette Act became law on August 24, 1912. Here at FELTG, we celebrate that anniversary every year about this time because a) this is the law that created the standard for removing a civil servant to be the “efficiency of the service,” and b) we will celebrate darned near anything if a party is involved. Unfortunately, this year may be our last party. Congress has been very active recently, creating legislation to reduce civil servant protections. Last month, we saw a bill introduced that, if enacted as law, would take us back to before 1912 and make civil service employment at-will. Perhaps foolishly, here at FELTG we fight against that outcome, arguing that the existing system works just fine for holding civil servants accountable while treating them fairly IF you know what you’re doing. Until the day they pry our cold dead fingers from around the Lloyd-La Follette Act, we will be here teaching the law of the civil service. Come join the party before it’s too late.
By Barbara Haga, August 16, 2017 This is the final installment of the review of the case of Ms. Doe, whose employer, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), was concerned about her “unusual and inappropriate behavior.” As recounted last time, this led to the...read more
By Deryn Sumner, August 16, 2017 On August 10, 2017, the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations announced the issuance of its most recent digest of notable cases, constituting the third volume for fiscal year 2017. The digest highlights and summarizes notable cases...read more
By Shana Palmieri, August 16, 2017 * Shana Palmieri is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a FELTG instructor who specializes in training agency employees and supervisors how to handle behavioral health issues and threats of violence in the federal workplace. FELTG...read more
By William Wiley, August 16, 2017 These days, the very foundations of our civil service are being reconsidered. Are the rights of our citizens being served by the federal government greater or less than the rights of individual civil servants employed by that...read more
By Deborah Hopkins, August 16, 2017 Lately, FELTG has begun offering classes on dealing with threats of violence in the federal workplace. It seems that there’s a workplace shooting just about every day, and if you can believe it, government workplaces (including...read more
By Deryn Sumner, August 16, 2017 Sometimes we all just need a little more time, which is why requests for extension were created. For years now, the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations has made such requests a simple affair. Email the designated email address...read more
By William Wiley, August 16, 2017 OK, kiddos. Everybody and their mother are re-considering the legal underpinnings of our civil service, and what can be done to make them better. Here at FELTG, we never shy away from giving out opinions, so here's another one. First,...read more
By Deryn Sumner, August 16, 2017 As part of our continuing discussion of recent decisions on compensatory damages from the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations, I bring you Sang G. v. Department of Homeland Security, EEOC Appeal No. 0120151360 (July 28, 2017). This...read more