Employee Relations Training Courses
Attorneys, HR/ER/LR Specialists and EEO practitioners will benefit from FELTG’s Employee Relations onsite training courses. Designed to provide practical guidance to help agency employees successfully navigate the world of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and related HR topics, these courses offer training on the most current, relevant performance and conduct topics that impact federal agencies.
ER-1: Fundamentals of MSPB: Nuts & Bolts (1 day)
Course Topics: An overview of the MSPB and how it works; how the new Board has changed the way MSPB does things; basic principles of performance and conduct actions; successfully navigating the Board’s appeal process; responding to affirmative defenses (allegations of whistleblower reprisal or civil rights discrimination).
ER-2: Misconduct-Based Actions (1 day)
Course Topics: The Five Essential Elements of disciplinary cases; burdens of proof; penalty selection and defense; MSPB’s power to mitigate a penalty; the comparator employee dilemma; the over-arching power of progressive discipline.
ER-3: Unacceptable Performance-Based Actions (1 day)
Course Topics: Elements of performance cases; burdens of proof; drafting a defensible performance standard; implementing an Opportunity to Demonstrate Acceptable Performance; accommodating disability-related performance problems; top three mistakes agencies routinely make; how to remove a poor performer in 31 days.
ER-4: Absence Management: Controlling Leave Use & Abuse (1-2 days)
Course Topics: Types of leave and leave entitlements; overviews of Family and Medical Leave Act; Office of Workers Compensation Program absences; leave as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act; leave as religious accommodation; leave abuse; alternative, modified and compressed work schedules; managing telework; the magic of Medical Inability to Perform removals.
ER-5: FMLA Law & Policy (1 day)
Course Topics: Federal sector FMLA basics; military family leave; serious health condition developments; medical certification issues; managing intermittent FMLA leave; discipline, FMLA and the under-performer; employee notice issues.
ER-6: MSPB Charges & Penalties (1-2 days)
Course Topics: Types of charges; parts of a charge; proposing and deciding officials; proving the difficult “intent” charge element; charge drafting; MSPB and Federal Circuit lead cases in penalty determination; charging down and proving up; defending a penalty as reasonable; case law update.
ER-7: Drafting Legally-Sufficient Discipline & Performance Documents (1 day)
Course Topics: The foundations of the civil service; accountability for misconduct; discipline fundamentals and nexus; major options to discipline; probationary employees; misconduct v. unacceptable performance; the five elements of discipline; the procedures of discipline and appeal; drafting proposal notices, decision letters, performance standards and Performance Demonstration Period implementation letters.
ER-8: Conducting Effective Misconduct Investigations (2-3 days)
Course Topics: The principles of misconduct in the federal government; the five elements of discipline; collecting penalty evidence; criminal v. tort activity in the federal workplace; testifying at hearing; necessary evidence; fact-finding; employee legal rights during an investigation; Privacy Act considerations.
ER-9: Advanced Employee Relations (3 days)
Day 1: Leave and Attendance: Administering leave, with particular emphasis on sick leave, LWOP, and FMLA. Detailed review of sick leave provisions including authorized purposes for use of sick leave, limitations on use of sick leave for family care and bereavement, eligibility to use leave for care, notice requirements, acceptable documentation. Management actions to control use of leave and abuse of sick leave. Detailed review of FMLA provisions including eligibility to invoke FMLA, entitlement, coverage of family members, administration and notice requirements. Acceptable medical documentation under FMLA, definition of serious health condition. Substitution of paid leave. Discipline tied to FMLA. LWOP – when LWOP is mandatory, limits on granting LWOP, employee status while on extended LWOP. Other topics –issues related to annual leave and leave transfer, other leave entitlements.
Day 2: Performance Management: Managing performance from system establishment to conducting annual appraisals to taking actions linked to performance. GEAR initiative and other efforts focused on modifying Federal performance management system. Requirements for performance plans, including design of agency systems, rating schemes, and procedures for conducting appraisals. Revised DOD performance system to be implemented in 2016. Linkage between appraisal and other personnel management decisions, including reduction-in-force and within-grade increases. Writing effective and measurable performance criteria that will withstand third-party review, including a workshop where participants will do an in-depth review of performance plans. Requirements for successful performance-based actions – from drafting a PIP notice that will withstand scrutiny to conducting a bona fide PIP to ensuring that due process is met in effecting an action on unacceptable performance.
Day 3: Misconduct and Other Related Issues: Implementation of a successful disciplinary program – delegation of authority, role of advisors, warnings and cautions, use of administrative leave. Nexus. Dealing with comparators in determining a penalty. Involuntary actions – resignations and retirements. Ordering and Offering medical examinations. Specific disciplinary situations: handling situations when an employee is unable to perform including excessive leave, disability retirement, separation disability; conduct unbecoming; misuse and technology-related misconduct; failure to meet conditions of employment.
Upcoming Labor Relations Training Events
In 2016, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death overall in the United States, killing more than 44,000 people. And 291 of those suicides took place in the workplace.
As suicide rates continue to rise, the impact is becoming more severe on the workplace. Join Shana Palmieri, LCSW for this 90-minute webinar as she discusses the behavior health disorders that lead to suicide risk, provides an overview of suicide and suicidal ideation in the United States and in the workplace, and shares real answers on what you can do and when to save an employee’s life.
Attendees will learn how to:
- Identify the signs and symptoms of suicide that indicate the need for professional intervention
- Effectively communicate to employees about suicide
- Handle a suicidal crisis in the workplace
The webinar will also include time for Q & A on these topics. This is a session you truly can’t afford to miss, so register your site today.
Early Bird Tuition: $275 per site (payment required by September 16)
Standard Tuition: $305 per site (for payments made September 17 or later)
Teleworkers may be added to a main site registration for $35 each, if space is available.
Absence due to illness has changed the landscape in dealing with federal workplace issues. Problems arise when employees are absent – let alone the huge amounts of leave entitlements tied to family member medical conditions.
Administering sick leave can be complicated, and proper documentation is critical. The Family & Medical Leave Act adds an additional layer of complexity to these illness-related absences. When can you require medical examinations? When can you take action on excessive absences?
If you need more information on absence related to illness so you are able to answer those tough questions on sick leave and FMLA – or if you want to ensure that the adverse action case you assemble will withstand the scrutiny of the MSPB – then this webinar series is custom-made for you.
While the near future of the Merit Systems Protection Board remains uncertain, FELTG is staying on top of the situation and will provide attendees with the most up-to-date information they need to know.
Instructors Deborah Hopkins, William Wiley, and Barbara Haga will guide you through these thorny issues. Register for any or all of the sessions.
- Session 1 – Sick Leave, Part I (October 16)
- Earning and accumulation
- Authorized uses of sick leave
- Family care sick leave – documentation and limits
- Advance sick leave
- Session 2 – Sick Leave, Part II (October 30)
- Notice requirements
- Definition of “serious health condition”
- Substitution of paid leave for FMLA LWOP
- Medical certification – what is required and what needs to be in it
- Sick leave abuse
- Medical examinations
- Taking action on sick leave-related absences
- Session 3 – Understanding FMLA (November 13)
- Basic entitlement
- Notice requirements
- FMLA Medical certification requirements
- Discipline and FMLA – excessive absence, falsified information, failure to comply with notice requirements, last chance agreements
You’ll have the chance to ask your questions, and get them answered in real time, during each of these 90-minute sessions. Register your site today.
Early Bird Tuition: $275 per webinar per site (registration submitted by October 7)
Standard Tuition: $305 per webinar per site (registration submitted October 8 or later)
Register for all three webinars by October 7 and pay only $795.
Add a teleworker for $35 per webinar, in addition to a main site registration, if space permits.