March 2016 Federal Employment Law Training Newsletter

As many of you readers know, the Federal Employment Law Training Group, LLC, began as a tiny little company, started by a bunch of guys who liked hanging out with each other, who thought it more fun to play with PowerPoint than to actually practice law. However, in the 15 years that have passed since that memorable “business plan” was scratched out on the back of a cocktail napkin, we’ve grown into a small-ish, but powerful, force in the federal civil service community. The White House frequently calls us for advice, both MSPB and EEOC pass their draft decisions through us for editing prior to issuance, and the Queen of England has asked us to take over as her social secretary. Yes, we’ve moved up in the world quite a bit and now, and unfortunately, are expected to act like a real business. And as real businesses have something called a Mission Statement, we decided that we would develop one, as well. So in case anyone ever asks you for our objective as a company, you can tell them this: To contribute to the improvement of the quality and efficiency of the government’s accountability systems. Sounds sort of grown-up, doesn’t it. We’ll use it the next time we’re asked to testify before Congress or if we’re ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Explicit, open-ended, flexible. Down-right mature, and we hope you are dutifully impressed. However, please keep in mind that our second objective, the one with which we actually founded this group, is to be sure we have enough income to cover the various bar bills of our instructors. So help us with that and we’ll continue to help you with the official Mission Statement. Check out for our upcoming seminars, register early and often, and we guarantee that the civil service will be a better place with us than without us.

Bill Signature

Use and Misuse (and Beware March Madness)

By Barbara Haga Looking at the broader topic of misuse seemed a good segue this month, since we have spent a few months on credit card misuse.  As you can imagine, Federal employees have misused a lot of things.  Credit cards, vehicles, agency mail systems, and...

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The FELTG Certified Practitioner Program

Have you heard about FELTG’s Certified Practitioner program? For full-week participants in our open enrollment seminars, FELTG now offers certification as a trained and tested practitioner in the following specialized areas of federal employment law: MSPB Law and...

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MSPB Attorney-Whistleblower Officially Wins IRA Appeal

By Deborah Hopkins You may have been following the articles I’ve been writing since late 2014 about the Korb case, which detailed the journey of a 25-year employee at MSPB who filed an Individual Right of Action (IRA) appeal alleging whistleblower reprisal. It...

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Accommodating the Disabled Commuter

By William Wiley One of the confusing areas of disability accommodation law is the issue of how far does an agency have to go to accommodate a disabled employee who cannot travel to the workplace each day to do his job. A major reason that this is confusing is that...

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Sometimes I Just Want to Sit Down and Cry

By William Wiley Here at old FELTG, we get some pretty attenuated questions; e.g., “But Bill, what if the individual is actually the hybrid spawn of a space alien and married to a retired federal employee? Is he still entitled to survivor benefits EVEN THOUGH HIS...

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Learning Points Can Be Good or Bad

By William Wiley Several months ago, I wrote an article regarding a Board case in which the agency won the appeal in spite of there being significant mistakes in the proposal and decision letters, McCook v. HUD, MSPB No. SF-0752-14-0389-I-1 (August 3, 2015) (NP). I...

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