February 2017 Federal Employment Law Training Group Newsletter

Sad-to-Angry, then Back Again

I think I might be suffering from a form of bi-polar disease. Some days, I’ll review a document drafted by a client and think, “Wow, this is good stuff. They’ve been to our classes, learned how to draft discipline and performance documents, and are doing the right thing the right way.” Other days, I am overwhelmed by the lack of competence exhibited by professionals in our field; e.g., the HR Director with many years of experience who simply emailed the employee and told him he was fired; the attorney who drafted a six-page proposed removal of a probationer (!) based on an email the employee had written that disclosed violations of federal regulations (!!). When these cases are reversed on appeal by the Board, those agencies now will have reason to complain to an oversight committee on Capitol Hill that the mean old MSPB won’t let them fire anybody. In knee-jerk response, some Congressman will propose abolishing our civil service protections so that it is easier to fire bad employees without the Board in the way. Folks, I probably publicly criticize MSPB decisions more than anybody out here. Yet, I am among the first to say that the main problem we are having with firing bad hombres is not the Board. No, the main problems are that a) many lower-level supervisors don’t believe that they’ll be supported by upper management if they try to fire someone, and b) too many agency employment law practitioners don’t know a Douglas Factor from Douglas MacArthur.  Please, come to the classes. Learn not to propose probationary terminations. Develop radar to recognize a prohibited personnel practice. Exude due process. If we let those people on The Hill try to fix us, they will screw it up. Here at FELTG, we are ready to help you fix yourselves. If you need greater employee accountability in your organization, call us. We can show you how to make it start to happen today, before anybody else tries to do it for you.

Bill Signature

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When You Can Say “No!” to the President

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Is Performance Recognition Necessary or Beneficial?

By Barbara Haga, February 15, 2017 I am going to jump out on a limb here and suggest that recognition tied to performance appraisals is at best benign and not achieving what it is intended to do, and possibly a detriment to performance management in Federal agencies. ...

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So, the Union Wants a Bunch of Information?

By William Wiley, February 15, 2017 Questions, we get questions. Not a lot of questions are about union rights and corresponding management obligations, and this one is a good one: From an inquiring mind among the FELTG newsletter readership: Dear FELTG brilliant...

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Commissioner Lipnic Named Acting Chair of EEOC

By Deryn Sumner, February 15, 2017 As FELTG has kept you all apprised, the MSPB currently lacks a quorum, which means that it can’t actually issue any decisions on pending petitions for review.  Luckily the halls of the EEOC are not so empty.  The President appointed...

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An Ugly Trend in Charge-Framing

By William Wiley, February 15, 2017 In science, we say that if it only happened once, it could be an accident; if it has happened twice, perhaps it’s a coincidence; but if it has happened three times, we’re onto a trend. I’m afraid we’ve come to a point in MSPB...

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