April 2016 Federal Employment Law Training Newsletter

The future ain’t what it used to be.” As we move deeper into the Presidential campaign cycle, we have to admit that Yogi Berra was onto something there. This past year saw a significant frontal attack on some of the foundational aspects of our civil service, at least in words. And 2016 and 2017 stand to be the Big Opportunity for those words to be put into law, depending in large part on who is elected as our new Supreme Leader come November. Current political players will start positioning themselves for a new (private sector?) job, political player wannabes will be betting on winners and losers in the elections, brushing up their connections with the incoming administration folks, hoping to be picked as one of the two new members at MSPB, perhaps (or perhaps not) as the new Special Counsel, and maybe a reshuffling of the three-card deck over at FLRA. Yes, the gloss on the civil service is scheduled for a do-over this year and next. But here at FELTG, we’ll continue to stay the course, providing advice and training for you wonderful ladies and gentlemen who actually do the work of government, regardless of who becomes your next benevolent overlord. You will soon have to hang new agency-head pictures in your lobby, but your go-to group for employment law training will remain the same. We might not be as eloquent as Yogi, but we’re working on it. “You can observe a lot by just watching.” Priceless

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Proposing a Demotion

By William Wiley Questions, we get questions. Not many questions about demotions, however, because agencies rarely use them. But recently we got an interesting query as to exactly what to include in the proposal letter of a demotion: Today, someone who should know...

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Using a PIP in a 752 Performance Removal

By William Wiley Another reader question. And this one is from an attorney at one of those few agencies that is not covered by the unacceptable performance removal provisions of 5 USC Chapter 43. Does a Performance Improvement Plan have any place in that non-432...

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If the Agency Settles, Does that Mean the Employee Wins?

By Deborah Hopkins Settlement makes up a major part of federal employment law practice. In fact, most disputes in our field settle – whether they initiate as grievances, EEO complaints or as appeals of agency disciplinary action – before they ever get to hearing....

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Career Lessons Learned from My Father

By Deryn Sumner Note: When I first started contributing to this newsletter, Bill told me I had liberty to write about pretty much whatever I wanted.  I’m going to take him up on that this month and depart a bit from my usual arena of EEO law to talk about my father’s...

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More Use and Misuse – Vehicles

By Barbara Haga I am sure that most readers are generally familiar with the statutory penalties associated with misuse of government vehicles.  I thought that a look at some cases that involve that charge and related forms of misuse might be a good topic to explore. ...

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Sanctions: Improper Conduct During Discovery

By Deryn Sumner  So far in this series, we’ve talked about when sanctions against agencies can be appropriate for untimely investigations or incomplete investigations.  Now let’s move, with a sigh of relief for most of you, to a discussion regarding when either party...

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EEO Retaliation is a Different Animal

By William Wiley Those who have been to FELTG’s famous and fabulous EEOC law seminars have seen a graph similar to the one at the left. It represents the fascinating fact that for all the bases of civil rights discrimination (there are eight or so, depending on how...

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