June 2016 Federal Employment Law Training Group Newsletter

uberDo you use Uber, the ride sharing way of getting around most major cities? One of the great aspects of that philosophy of providing a service is that you get to rate your driver right after the drive is completed (and he rates you as well, by the way). The scale is easy: one to five stars with five being the best rating. So if the guy picks you up right on time, is courteous, and drives sensibly, what do you give him as a rating? Well, if you’re like me, you give him a five. He did exactly what you needed him to do, how and when you needed him to do it. Oh, he could have done more – a nice back rub perhaps – but that would be beyond expectations. So why do senior managers in agencies get all freaked out when a supervisor wants to give all of his employees a performance rating of Outstanding? Most every civil servant is selected via a merit system designed to employee the best and the brightest. If those employees do exactly what you need them to do, how and when you need them to do it, don’t they deserve an Uber-like top rating? If you ran Uber, wouldn’t you be thrilled if all your drivers got “5” ratings? The federal performance appraisal system is routinely mishandled and misapplied. Perhaps our new administration will have the foresight to bring into government some organizational psychologists who know the basic science and can help us come up with a better way to do things, maybe even Uber-ize performance appraisal. Just think; everyone who receives a service from a federal employee could use an app to rate that civil servant’s service. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

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Do Not Extend the Notice Period for a Proposed Removal

By William Wiley Cut us, we bleed efficiency. OK, maybe too graphic. Come to our FELTG training and we will teach you how to quickly and effectively hold your employees accountable for performance and conduct while simultaneously providing all the rights the employee...

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This One is Difficult to Report

By William Wiley As some of you might remember, late last year here at FELTG, we embarked on a mission we had never undertaken before. We decided to conduct a highly-scientific survey of all the attendees at our training programs to try to get an answer to what I...

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We Gotta Have a Rule

By William Wiley Questions, we get wonderful questions here at FELTG. This one is from a somewhat frustrated practitioner that doubts that MSPB knows what “abuse of authority” really is. And it involves an area commonly misunderstood, right at the heart of our merit...

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MSPB’s Statistics for 2015

By William Wiley The Board published its annual summary of cases decided a couple of months ago. Normally, I dig into those win/loss tables with glee, separating the agencies who won most of their appeals from the pitiful losers who are wasting the government’s money....

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MSPB Fails to Understand Its Role in Adjudication

By William Wiley Once again, I willingly choose to engage in the crime of lèse-majesté. Consider the following exchange: Bill:         Hey, Deb, how did you get to work today? Deb:        Well, I drove my Ford, as usual. Bill:         You’re lying. I saw you driving a...

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