January 2016 Federal Employment Law Training Newsletter

Lion's FaceLucy Kellaway of the Financial Times recently wrote an article predicting the increasing irrelevance of human resources in large corporations. Her premise in large part is that more and more companies will come to abandon the “bureaucratic backward-looking charade” of annual performance appraisal. She predicts that employees “will no longer have to submit themselves to the cumbersome process in which they set a dozen meaningless goals and are rated on obscure things like ‘displays pro-active inclusivity.’” The Economist, “The World in 2016” December 2015. I bet that example rings a bell with more than one of you wonderful readers, that you have already reached the conclusion that annual performance appraisal is among the biggest government wastes of time ever invented. Ms Kellaway goes even further, asserting that historically HR departments have sought to justify their existence by dreaming up increasingly tiresome initiatives for managers to implement without any corresponding benefit. As an additional example, she suggests the pointless training forced on many managers, asking them to identify, “If you were an animal, what would you be?” Fortunately, if you hang with us here at FELTG, you’ll never have to worry about these “tiresome initiatives” taking up your training dollars. We teach you to write performance measurements that ignore inputs and capture outputs, because that’s how you hold a civil servant accountable. And when it comes to being an animal, we don’t ask you; we tell you. You’re a darned tiger. Now, go hold someone accountable.

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Discipline in the Public View – Credit Card Misuse V

By Barbara Haga Now that the holidays are over and credit card bills are arriving in mailboxes around the country, it seems like a good time to return to looking at credit card issues in Federal agencies. “Saving Federal Dollars” Closer to Reality I mentioned in the...

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Tips for Drafting EEO Settlement Agreements

By Deryn Sumner So after months (okay, or maybe hours) of negotiation, you’ve agreed on terms and reached a settlement in principle to resolve an EEO complaint? Great! Now comes the next hurdle: reducing the terms to writing and getting everyone to sign off on the...

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Acronyms Matter When it Comes to Veterans’ Rights

By William Wiley Everyone knows that you can’t mistreat military veterans in the federal workplace because of their military duty. In fact, Congress has passed two separate and independent laws somewhat recently to protect the rights of veterans, and there’s an...

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This Isn’t the Way Civil Service Justice Should Work

By William Wiley The drums continue to beat to abolish the civil servant protections we have all come to love and respect. Certainly here at FELTG, we have pushed back hard, arguing that the oversight programs and redress procedures really aren’t that bad, that...

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Charlie Manson? Oh, He’s Average.

By Michael Vandergriff I trained Charlie Manson’s psychiatrist. It was the California Medical Facility (CMF) in Vacaville, CA, the summer of 1980, and the topic was conflict management. Part of an external degree program in Criminal Justice, offered by California...

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