April 2018 Federal Employment Law Training Group Newsletter

The other night, I was thinking about Stormy Daniels. No, not that way, silly. I leave those dreams to other men. I was thinking how cool it is to have a first name that’s an adjective: “Stormy.” In contrast. “Bill” signals nothing about a person. Might as well call me “Ugh.” But call me “Stormy” and you’ve already got an indication of the kind of person I am. Same goes for other cool adjective first names like “Breezy,” “Happy,” “Sleepy,” “Grumpy,” and “Sneezy.” So, what would your adjective first name be?  Perhaps you’d like to be called “Punctual” Jones. Or, maybe “Notorious” Wilson. The options are endless, and flexible. You could change it anytime you wanted to just by buying a new name tag to wear on your governmental shirt. Here at FELTG, if we had to pick an adjective first name it probably would be “Lawful-FELTG.” Not that we are a particularly law-abiding organization (have you seen our business-expense reports?). Rather, we are an organization that lives and dies by what our civil service laws are. In addition, we might like to be called “Scientific-FELTG” because we don’t teach anything that is not based on independent study by specialists in a field. We are big believers in data, and that’s what science is all about. And just as importantly, we would be honored to be called “Practical-FELTG.” That’s because we teach a lot of things that you can learn only from being out there in the field, where government really happens. So, if you dream of Stormy, in either a good or bad way, who could blame you? We just hope that you’ll dream of us every now and then, as well. We may not be as exciting as Ms Daniels, but night visions of us won’t be getting you into trouble with your significant other.Bill Signature

A Hidden-in-Plain-Sight Management Tool: Reassignment

By Deborah Hopkins, April 18, 2018 Reassignment is a management tool that often goes under-utilized in the federal civil service. Some people think it only applies to reasonable accommodation cases; others believe that it’s a way to punish bad employees. Bill and I...

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Affirmative Defenses: Making the Complainant Whole

By Meghan Droste, April 18, 2018 In the era of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, there has been a lot of discussion of what constitutes harassment, what we are no longer willing to tolerate or excuse, and who is experiencing harassment.  To a certain extent, we have...

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Here’s How Not to Fix the Civil Service

By William Wiley, April 18, 2018 Consider this hypothetical. Wife gets home one night and says to Hubby, “Honey, the car is broken.” Hubby, being something of a shade tree mechanic, jumps from his Barcalounger and heads for the garage. First, he replaces the car...

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Reassignment as the Accommodation of Last Resort

By Deborah Hopkins, April 18, 2018 Elsewhere in this newsletter, I discussed some of the questions that come up about management-directed reassignment for business-related reasons. We also often get questions about reassignment as reasonable accommodation (RA) for...

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Tips from the Other Side, Part 4

By Meghan Droste, April 18, 2018 I just returned from a three-day FELTG training program with a fantastic group of EEO counselors and officers at an agency in Atlanta.  The course focused on various types of EEO writing, including acceptance and dismissal letters. ...

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Another Reason They Want to Take Away the Civil Service

By William Wiley, April 18, 2018 I hate this case. Not because of the outcome, necessarily. No, it’s because of the path it took, a path open to every federal employee who believes his supervisor has mistreated him. As you read through the following, ask yourself: “If...

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