November 2019 Federal Employment Law Training Group Newsletter

No More Sleeping in GSA Buildings

I was a little shocked to see that GSA posted a Federal Management Regulation banning sleeping in federal buildings. My first thought was, “Why does GSA think we need a regulation about this?” My second thought was, “Who in the world put this on GSA’s radar?”

Further articles on the topic reveal that GSA’s intent was not to make it improper to snooze off at your desk after lunch, but rather to ban overnight sleeping or camping out.  Read the language of the posting, though, and you won’t find that detail. Does this mean employees are allowed to sleep as long as it happens during work hours? Of course not. Since the beginning of time, federal supervisors have been free to set reasonable workplace rules for employees that include, for example, not allowing employees to sleep at work.

But, while it may be a common practice to have overnights in many workplaces (including on the Hill, as it’s long been reported), if you work in a GSA building, you’re now out of luck.

With that it’s on to the November 2019 FELTG Newsletter.

Take care,

Deborah J. Hopkins, FELTG President

A New Way to Fire Bad Performers

By William Wiley, November 13, 2019 Actually, it’s not new; it’s the way Congress intended it be done starting in 1978. Check out the following situation. As a legal or HR advisor, consider what you would advise. Sally Supervisor tells you her problem: Ed Employee...

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Can You Fire A Federal Employee for Body Odor or Bad Hygiene?

By Deborah Hopkins, November 13, 2019 You’ve probably all dealt with this situation at some point: You’re sitting on an airplane, bus, or subway train, or at a concert or in church or in a meeting, and you catch an odor from the person sitting next to you. It’s not a...

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More on Excessive Absence and the Third Cook Factor

By Barbara Haga, November 13, 2019 Following up on last month’s column, I continue to look at cases which further illustrate use of the Cook exception to remove an employee for excessive approved absence. In last month’s examples, the Army and Air Force were able to...

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The Good News: Good Leadership Does Make a Difference

By Ann Boehm, November 13, 2019 In case you hadn’t heard, the Washington Nationals won the World Series!! Sorry Astros fans, but DC really needed this.  Now that I’ve almost recovered from the daily fog of staying up too late to watch seven baseball games, I’ve had...

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like … The Holiday Season

By Meghan Droste, November 13, 2019 Time really flies — it feels like just a few weeks ago I was writing about how the EEO process should be your Valentine and now, all of sudden, we’re about two weeks away from Thanksgiving. Of course, the fact that my neighborhood...

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Tips from the Other Side: November 2019

By Meghan Droste, November 13, 2019 Long-time fans of FELTG are probably aware that our former president and professor emeritus Bill Wiley and our current fearless leader Deborah Hopkins are fans of alternative methods of discipline — ways to hold employees...

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