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.Bill Signature

Psychiatric Examinations: OPM, the MSPB, and the EEOC

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

Managing the Suicidal Employee in the Federal Workplace

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

Such a Fundamental Question

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

You Aren’t Going to Like This

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

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This