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, including how to comply with President Trump’s Executive Orders as they pertain to performance management, and how to meet OPM’s deadline for streamlining procedures for handling poor performance.
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
Navigating your role in the modern federal workplace requires not just the legal knowledge, but also the practical skills to handle the most intense and challenging situations. For example, do you know what to do in the following scenarios?
- An employee with bipolar disorder is having a manic episode in the workplace.
- An employee threatens violence or suicide.
- An employee claims she is being sexually harassed by one of your best performers.
- You’ve heard reports that another manager is bullying an employee.
- An employee is requesting leave or telework as a reasonable accommodation.
- An employee is wasting time on social media when he is supposed to be working.
We will provide you the specific legal, practical and clinical guidance you need to reply effectively in these and many other difficult situations during our all-new Emerging Issues Week. You’ll gain the tools to better understand how to:
- Deal with employees who have mental and behavioral health issues.
- Handle sexual harassment and bullying claims.
- Manage risk in your agency.
- Handle the conflicts that take your employees off task.
- Respond appropriately to the most challenging reasonable accommodation requests.
Handling Behavioral Health Issues: An overview of the ADA requirements on accommodating individuals with mental impairments and other behavioral health issues; your agency’s legal obligation to provide its employees with a safe workplace; types of mental disabilities and how they may exhibit in the workplace; PTSD, substance abuse disorders; dos and don’ts when working with employees who have behavioral health issues.
Dealing with Threats of Violence: Handling the psychiatric emergency; legal considerations for federal agencies; dangerous scenarios during the notice period; myths and facts about targeted violence in the workplace; dealing with suicidal employees; individual characteristics that put an employee at higher risk of committing an act of violence; how to develop and implement an in-house threat management team to deal with threat assessments, risk management, and the best ways to keep employees safe during a crisis; steps to take if someone becomes violent in the workplace.
Harassment Allegations and Investigations: Differentiating between EEO and non-EEO harassment; protected categories; investigating harassment allegations; the intersection with criminal investigations; bullying; special considerations in light of #MeToo and #TimesUp.
The Nontraditional Workplace: Telework, Reasonable Accommodation, and Technology Challenges: Accountability for a mobile workforce; telework or flexible schedules as reasonable accommodation; challenges with technology in the federal workplace.
Working in a Unionized Environment: What every supervisor and advisor should know about federal labor unions; collective bargaining agreements; official time; LR meetings; an overview of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute; fundamental employee, union, and management rights; unfair labor practices; controlling official time; handling information requests; the current status of the Executive Orders.
Early Bird Tuition (register by July 6):
- 5 days = $2190
- 4 days = $1795
- 3 days = $1385
- 2 days = $980
- 1 day = $540
Standard Tuition (register July 7 – July 24):
- 5 days = $2290
- 4 days = $1895
- 3 days = $1485
- 2 days = $1080
- 1 day = $640
Metro, Parking, Directions
Metro: The International Student House (1825 R Street NW) is located in convenient proximity to the Red Line. Exit Metro at the Dupont Circle station and proceed to the Q Street/North exit. Head north (you will come off the escalator facing north; if you use the elevator take a left after exiting) on Connecticut Avenue to R Street NW (approximately one block). Turn right onto R Street NW. Cross 19th Street NW and the International Student House will be on the left side of the street approximately halfway down the block. If you reach the Bikeshare dock, you’ve gone too far. Approximate walk time: 7-10 minutes.
Parking: Street parking is metered and is limited to two hours, unless you have a Washington, DC, Zone 2 parking pass. The closest parking garage is at 11 Dupont Circle, approximately two blocks from the International Student House (1825 R Street NW). Approximate walk time: 5 -7 minutes.
From the Carlyle Hotel: After exiting the Carlyle Hotel, turn left. At the first intersection, R Street NW, turn right. Proceed approximately one block. The International Student House (1825 R Street NW) will be on your right, just past the Bikeshare dock. Approximate walk time: 4-6 minutes.
Cancellation and No-show Policy for Registered Participants: Cancellations made after the cancel date on the registration form will not be refunded or given credit toward future courses. Pre-paid training using the “Pay Now” option will not be refunded or given credit toward future courses. No-shows will not be refunded or given credit toward future courses.
One of the most important – and challenging – areas in federal employment law is the obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act changed the law more than ten years ago. Yet, too many agencies are still following outdated procedures that are not compliant with the law. Because there are so many complexities in the reasonable accommodation process, the best way to avoid pitfalls and to be sure you provide accommodations for people who are entitled is to follow the appropriate steps, in the proper order.
Once again, FELTG proudly presents a five-part series on reasonable accommodation in the federal workplace, covering everything from the basics of the law to challenges such as providing accommodations to teleworkers. Attend one or attend all.
Click on any event for a full description.
5 (1 per webinar)
Session 1: Reasonable Accommodation: The Law, the Challenges & Solutions (July 30)
Session 3: Telework as Reasonable Accommodation: When to Say “Yes” and When to Say “No” (August 13)
Session 4: Hear it from a Judge: The Reasonable Accommodation Mistakes Agencies Make (August 20)
Session 5: Understanding Religious Accommodations: How They’re Different from Disability Accommodation (August 27)
- Early Bird Tuition: $240 per site, per session (payment made by July 20).
- Standard Tuition: $270 per site, per session (payment made July 21 or later).
- Register for all five webinars by July 20 and pay only $1125!
Teleworkers may be added to a main site registration for $40 per teleworker, on a space-available basis.