February 2023 Federal Employment Law Training Group Newsletter

Spit Out the Salt

I have recently become fascinated with an animal called the marine iguana. This reptile is only found in one place: the Galápagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador. These animals adapted many, many years ago to feed on ocean algae (you read that right). They can dive to depths approaching 100 feet, and can hold their breath for up to an hour.

The most interesting part to me is that their bodies have a way of expelling the excess salt they ingest while feeding underwater – special glands near their nostrils allow them to “spit” out the salt. I’ve seen this firsthand and it mimics a sneeze. Don’t get too close.

How does this relate to Federal employment law? In FELTG classes we teach you how to comply with the law and “spit” out the additional hurdles you don’t need in your way. And in this month’s newsletter we discuss hurdles in COVID discipline cases, clean record agreements, reasonable accommodation check-ins, and much more.

Take care,


Deborah J. Hopkins, FELTG President

Masks and Tests: Here Come the COVID Discipline Cases

By Deborah J. Hopkins, February 14, 2023 It took less than a year of a quorum at the MSPB before we got our first two cases involving agency discipline related to COVID-19 – consequently, both from the Air Force. In one case, the agency prevailed. In the other, the...

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Is This a New Type of Tangible Employment Action?

By Deborah J. Hopkins, February 14, 2023 When we discuss tangible employment actions in our EEO classes, we usually focus on facts in existing case law: a supervisor takes a pay-related action (such as a suspension, or non-selections) against an employee because of...

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The Good News: Two FLRA Members Can Still Issue Decisions

By Ann Boehm, February 14, 2023 On Jan. 3, 2023, FLRA Chairman Ernest DuBester’s term ended. This means the FLRA currently has only two members: now-Chairman Susan Tsui Grundmann, Democrat, and Member Colleen Duffy Kiko, Republican. With two members, the FLRA has a...

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