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2014 Agenda

Please view our 2014 agenda by date or track.
HLE
[R] = Repeat Session

Workshop Day - Monday, July 14
7 - 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. -
12 p.m.
ADR-P1 Strategies to Resolve Conflict When Working in Teams
ATY-P2 MSPB Mock Hearing
EEO-P3 Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Individuals with
Disabilities
8:30 a.m. -
5 p.m.
EEO-P5 Putting Our Best Foot Forward: A Refresher for EEO
Counselors and Investigators
HLE-P6 Are You Ready for RIFs and Furloughs?
HLE-P7 Everything You Wanted to Know About Leave and Absence
BONUS-P4 The Nuts and Bolts of Federal Retirement
12 -
1:30 p.m.
Lunch on Your Own
1:30 - 5 p.m. ADR-P8 Advanced Negotiator Skills, Strategies and Ethics
ATY-P9 EEO Mock Hearing
HLE-P10 Inheriting the Problem Employee
3 - 3:30 p.m. Refreshment Break
GEICO Exhibitor Showcase 
5 - 6 p.m. Ice Cream Social    Sponsored by

Tuesday, July 15
7:30 -
8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:30 -
10 a.m.

Opening Plenary
The Resilient Federal Employee

10 -
10:30 a.m.
Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education Exhibitor Showcase
Refreshment Break
10:30 a.m. -
12 p.m.

ADR1

The Seven Elements of Saying the Right Thing

ATY1

Defending and Reducing Attorney’s Fees

EEO1

Harassment-Free Federal Workplace

HLE1

Think Tank for Advanced Employee and Labor Relations
Professionals

Bonus Session: Legislative Update

12 - 2 p.m.

Lunch on Your Own

2 - 3:30 p.m.

ADR2

Toxic Communications in the Workplace: A Toolbox of
Strategies

EEO2

Psychiatric and Psychological Disabilities in the Federal
Workplace

HLE2

Clean Record Agreements
Bonus Session: Ready, Set, Ask the Expert (Session I)
2 - 4 p.m.

ATY2

Ethical Issues in Federal Employment Law
3:30 - 4 p.m. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Exhibitor Showcase 

Refreshment Break

4 - 5 p.m.

ADR3

The Art of Inquiry: How Your Questions Lead to Results

ATY3

What Is Reprisal After Nassar? Is Protected EEO Activity Still Protected?

EXEC1

Town Hall Conversation with FMCS Deputy Director Allison Beck

Wednesday, July 16
7:30 -
8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
8:30 -
10 a.m.
ADR4 Communication and Trust: The Essentials for a Successful Workplace
ATY4-A 2014 Case Law Update Part I: MSPB, FLRA
EEO2-R Psychiatric and Psychological Disabilities in the Federal
Workplace
[R]
EEO3 Think Tank for Advanced EEO Professionals
HLE3 Interviews and Reference Checking
10 -
10:30 a.m.
Refreshment Break
10:30 a.m. -
12 p.m.
ATY4-B 2014 Case Law Update Part II: EEOC
ATY5 Hatch Act Compliance and the 2014 Election Season
EEO4 Lead by Design, Not Default: Overcoming Unconscious Bias
10:30 -
11:15 a.m.
EXEC2-A Town Hall Conversation With MSPB Chair Susan Tsui
Grundmann
11:15 a.m. -
12 p.m.
EXEC2-B Town Hall Conversation With FLRA Chair Carol Waller Pope
12 -
1:30 p.m.
Luncheon Plenary
How to Stay Positive and Focused
1:30 - 2 p.m. Dessert Break
2 - 3:30 p.m. ADR5 50 More Nuggets From the ADR Wall of Fame
ATY6 Speech in the Federal Workplace
EEO5 Managing Transgender Inclusion in the Federal Workplace
HLE4 It’s About the Money: Back Pay and Sovereign Immunity
Bonus Session: Ready, Set, Ask the Expert (Session II)
3:30 -
3:45 p.m.
Refreshment Break
3:45 -
4:45 p.m.
EEO6 Issuing Final Agency Actions and Meeting the Mark
HLE5 Due Process: Adverse Actions for Loss of Qualification or
Inability to Perform
EXEC3 Town Hall With OPM Director Katherine Archuleta

Thursday, July 17
7:30 -
8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
8:30 -
9:45 a.m.
Closing Plenary
Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success
10 - 11 a.m. EXEC4 Town Hall With EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien
HLE6 Management Rights Demystified
HLE7 Ex Parte Communications and Due Process – Can They
Coexist?
11 -
11:15 a.m.

Refreshment Break

11:15 a.m. -
12:45 p.m.
EXEC5 Town Hall Conversation With Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner
ATY7 Proving and Defending Claims of Compensatory Damages
HLE2-R Clean Record Agreements [R]

Schedule and sessions subject to change.

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Opening Plenary

The Resilient Federal Employee
Jeff Neal, Senior Vice President, ICF International; Publisher, ChiefHRO.com
With mid-term elections on the horizon, the popular political sport of fed-bashing is likely to continue unabated. The strain is starting to show on the usually resilient federal workforce. What can you do to reverse the corrosive effects of poor morale and keep valued employees with vital skills from leaving? How do you recruit and hire the best and brightest in such an unpleasant atmosphere? Mr. Neal, a former CHCO with the Department of Homeland Security, was named Government Executive’s CHCO of the Year in 2010. He’ll share what it takes to manage and motivate your staff through these tumultuous times.
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Luncheon Plenary

How to Stay Positive and Focused
Sarita Maybin, Speaker, Trainer, Communication Expert
Whiners, naysayers and defensive people. What causes their negative attitudes? In this entertaining and energizing presentation, you will learn what causes negativity and how to keep the contagious effect from rubbing off on you. Ms. Maybin, an acclaimed motivational speaker and author, will help you expose subtle negativity, focus on the three P’s of positivity, and, in effect, turn your workplace into one more conducive to meeting agency mission.
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Closing Plenary

Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success
Al Switzler, Founder, VitalSmarts; Co-author of Crucial Conversations
People who understand how to adapt their own individual habits to interpersonal, team and organizational change experience more productivity, are more engaged at work, and have the ability to solve complex problems. Mr. Switzler, a New York Times best-selling author and business communications expert, will teach you a step-by-step guide for adopting, and sticking to, the very behaviors that will improve your professional – and personal – life. Almost everyone has an individual challenge to solve. Get the tools you need to be successful.
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Strategies to Resolve Conflict When Working in Teams                ADR-P1

Megan Johnston, Executive Director, Northern Virginia Mediation Service
Andrew Pizzi, Conflict Resolution Practitioner
Izabela Solosi, Training Program Manager, Northern Virginia Mediation Service

Monday, July 14 | 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

We have all experienced the frustration of working on a project while being part of a team. Work styles and personalities clash, misunderstandings set members at odds, and goals become lost as deadlines loom. Come learn the most common sources of conflict that divide teams and how to recognize and address them in your workplace. Plus, you’ll gain strategies to overcome barriers caused by conflict which will immediately be put to the test through case studies and exercises

Workshop takeaways

  • Identify sources of team conflict
  • Develop strategies to improve team performance
  • Adjust strategies when your team is under stress
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MSPB Mock Hearing ATY-P2

Michael Bogdanow, Legal Liaison, Office of Regional Operations, Merit Systems Protection Board
Benjamin Gutman, Administrative Judge, San Francisco Bay Area Office,
   Merit Systems Protection Board

Deborah Miron, Director of Regional Operations, Chief Administrative Judge,
   Merit Systems Protection Board

Julia H. Perkins, Partner, Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C.
Maxanne R. Witkin, Director, Office of Employment Discrimination and
   Complaint Adjudication, Department of Veterans Affairs

Monday, July 14 | 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

A Merit Systems Protection Board hearing is not a place you want to find yourself unprepared. This informative and realistic mock hearing – conducted by MSPB officials – will give you the full picture of the process so you aren’t left unaware. Background and evidentiary information for the scenario being played out will be shared as handouts, giving you insight into how to take supportable actions. You’ll witness the practical aspects of the hearing, including objections, AJ rulings, direct and cross-examination, and findings.

Workshop takeaway

  • Understand the hearing stages in the MSPB process
  • Ask relevant questions at the hearing
  • Prepare a concise and focused opening argument that emphasizes key points
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Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Individuals With Disabilities EEO-P3

Kendra Duckworth, Disability Program Manager, US Air Force
Stephen King, Director of Disability Programs, Department of Defense

Monday, July 14 | 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Your agency can increase the participation rate of individuals with disabilities, even with budget constraints, hiring freezes and the potential for RIFs. Ms. Duckworth and Mr. King will share best practices to help you move that needle in your agency, as well as review the Rehabilitation Act and the policies you need to be aware of so you are in compliance with the requirements of Executive Order 13548. An extensive resource list and sample documents regarding Schedule A recruiting and reasonable accommodation procedures will also be provided.

Workshop takeaways

  • Identify common disabilities and provide reasonable accommodations
  • Implement a successful program to recruit individuals with disabilities
  • Develop a survey form to encourage self-disclosure of disabilities
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Advanced Negotiator Skills, Strategies and Ethics      ADR-P8

Stephanie Bell, Assistant Director, Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University
Rick Oglesby, Commissioner, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service

Monday, July 14 | 1:30 - 5 p.m.

What makes a negotiator effective? Ms. Bell and Commissioner Oglesby will review the framework necessary to prepare for negotiations, and help build your confidence in navigating the negotiation process. This is a great opportunity to delve deeper into the strategies that produce favorable outcomes and the ethics of principled negotiations.

Workshop takeaways

  • Enhance your ability to analyze and think critically about negotiation strategy
  • Identify the skills necessary in the negotiation process
  • Incorporate a paradigm for “ethical” negotiations
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EEO Mock Hearing ATY-P9

Gary Gilbert, President and Principal, Law Offices of Gary Gilbert & Associates
Anthony Kaminski, Attorney, Law Offices of Gary Gilbert & Associates
Virginia Mellema MaGee, Administrative Judge, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Maxanne R. Witkin, Director, Office of Employment Discrimination and Complaint Adjudication,
   Department of Veterans Affairs

Monday, July 14 | 1:30 - 5 p.m.

This fast-paced workshop will give you an insider’s perspective of the EEO hearing process through demonstrations of opening statements, direct and cross-examinations, objections, the introduction of evidence, closing arguments, and more. You’ll get expert guidance on each step of the process, along with practical tips to sharpen your skills and avoid mistakes.

Workshop takeaways

  • Understand the purpose of each stage of the hearing process, from the request for a hearing to the decision
  • Learn the key aspects of each stage and how to avoid mistakes
  • Use your newfound knowledge of hearings to improve your role in the EEO process
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Inheriting the Problem Employee HLE-P10

Bob Grant, President/CEO, The Grant Group

Monday, July 14 | 1:30 - 5 p.m.

To “inherit” is usually a good thing, but not when you find yourself with employees who were problems for their former supervisors. Mr. Grant will share strategies to help you deal with attendance, attitude, misconduct and poor performance – in a way that is defensible if an employee claims discrimination or past practice. He’ll also discuss current case law guidance; detail progressive corrective actions covering admonishment, reprimand and suspension; and provide sample letters addressing everything from sick leave certification to probationary discharge.

Workshop takeaways

  • Identify and address inappropriate leave patterns
  • Understand past practice and its impact going forward
  • Adjust negative attitudes through effective communication
  • Assess whether essential job functions are being met
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Putting Our Best Foot Forward: A Refresher for EEO Counselors
and Investigators
EEO-P5

Oliver Allen, EEO Officer, Department of Justice/Drug Enforcement Administration
Roslyn D. Brown, Strategic Human Capital and Public Policy Consultant

Monday, July 14 | 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

If you’re looking for the same old boring refresher course, you best look elsewhere. Sure, Mr. Allen and Ms. Brown will review the latest case law and walk you through EEOC’s case processing regulations. And, through role play and other interactive exercises, you’ll gain the tools you need to address challenging situations, whether it’s handling a sexual stereotyping claim or trying to get answers from an uncooperative higher-level manager. This training will also include an open forum segment for you to raise issues from your own experiences.

Workshop takeaways

  • Identify the bases of protection under Title VII
  • State what types of questions to ask in various situations
  • Read body language and apply other strategies for working with difficult people
  • Recognize your own perceptions and stereotypes, and those of others

This session meets all standards established by the EEOC for the per annum training requirement for federal EEO counselors and investigators.

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Are You Ready for RIFs and Furloughs? HLE-P6

Steve Muir, Director, Labor and Employee Relations, Office of Human Resources,
   Department of the Treasury/Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Jeffrey Neal, Senior Vice President, ICF International; Publisher, ChiefHRO.com
Steve Sharfstein, Chief of Labor Relations, Uniformed Services University of the
    Health Sciences     
                 

Monday, July 14 | 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Despite the budget deal reached, reductions in force are still in play at many agencies. If you know somebody who’s very familiar with the RIF regulations, you’re lucky. It’s been decades since we’ve seen large scale government-wide reductions in force, and a good number of the people who managed those processes are long-retired. Where do you start? What are the staffing issues involved? What are the implications for labor and employee relations? Get insight from seasoned practitioners who have been there done that, as they review the regulations and share their best practices for implementing and surviving RIFs at your agency.

Workshop takeaways

  • Identify when RIF regulations do not apply
  • Establish and maintain a retention register
  • Develop strategies for meeting goals with fewer employees
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Everything You Wanted to Know About Leave and Absence HLE-P7

Barbara Haga, ER/LR Consultant; President, Federal HR Services Inc.

Monday, July 14 | 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Ms. Haga, a renowned expert on leave, will cover everything you need to know about handling sick leave, annual leave, FMLA, LWOP, military and court leave, and more. She’ll share her insights on addressing leave abuse, enforced leave and reasonable accommodation, and discuss the critical case law – so you leave with the guidance necessary to support your actions.

Workshop takeaways

  • Determine when you can grant leave and when you can deny it
  • Obtain relevant medical evidence from employees claiming illness or disability
  • Differentiate between sick leave and FMLA
  • Handle the chronically late employee
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The Nuts and Bolts of Federal Retirement BONUS-P4

John Grobe, President, Federal Career Experts

Monday, July 14 | 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Mr. Grobe will give an in-depth review of the complex federal retirement system for both CSRS and FERS, including eligibility requirements, annuity computations, survivor benefit elections, death benefits, Social Security and the Thrift Savings Plan. Whether you’re nearing retirement or have many years to go, he’ll arm you with the knowledge needed to make critical decisions and navigate your way through the complicated process.

Workshop takeaways

  • Assess how much retirement income you will receive from your pension, Social Security and the TSP
  • Identify the best TSP withdrawal option for you
  • Master the rules and regulations of CSRS and FERS
  • Determine if a survivor annuity is right for you
  • Understand how your Social Security is computed
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The Seven Elements of Saying the Right Thing ADR1

Mary Ryan, ADR Consultant
John Settle, President, SETTLEment Associates, LLC

Tuesday, July 15 | 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Enhance your “language of communication” skills in seven key areas! Tired of repeating “what I hear you saying is ... ”? Ms. Ryan and Mr. Settle will help you build your repertoire of what to say when and help your agency improve communication among employees and managers, whether in a union setting, performance discussions, “difficult conversations,” mediation, or just day-to-day engagement. They’ll touch on how you can improve feedback and paraphrasing skills; the value of “reframing” and use of metaphor; how to ask questions; the language of trust-building; working with parties’ own narratives; and how to enhance your personal influence.

Session takeaways

  • “Say the right thing” when engaged in critical communications
  • Expand your techniques for feedback, paraphrasing, reframing and asking good questions
  • Describe why metaphors work to expand how people express emotions when words “don’t seem adequate”
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Toxic Communications in the Workplace: A Toolbox of Strategies ADR2

Ramona Buck, Commissioner, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service
Denise McKenney, EEO Director, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service

Tuesday, July 15 | 2 - 3:30 p.m.

Toxic communication takes many forms in the workplace, from comments that ooze bad intent to outright verbal abuse. Toxic communications cause workers to shut down, derailing the accomplishment of the work at hand. Ms. Buck and Ms. McKenney will analyze the types of negative behaviors and offer appropriate responses. Plus, you’ll receive a list and description of helpful strategies to counter these off-putting communications.

Session takeaways

  • Identify toxic behavior in the workplace
  • Recognize and counteract the effects of toxic communication in the work environment
  • Use verbal and non-verbal responses to counter toxic workplace communication
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The Art of Inquiry: How Your Questions Lead to Results ADR3

Tracey Cairnie, President, CoreVision LLC
Izabela Solosi, Training Program Manager, Northern Virginia Mediation Service

Tuesday, July 15 | 4 - 5 p.m.

Inquiry is a vital element in the successful resolution of conflict and collaboration. Ms. Cairnie and Ms. Solosi will explore the reasons why. They’ll examine which questions to ask, why we choose these questions, and when a different question may be more effective. You’ll learn the use of Socratic questions and leave ready to improve your use of powerful questions to successfully resolve conflict and collaborate with others.

Session takeaways

  • Outline the different types of questions
  • Consider the appropriateness and effectiveness of different types of questions
  • Enhance your question-to-statement ratio
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Communication and Trust: The Essentials for a Successful Workplace ADR4

Joseph Swerdzewski, Managing Member, Joseph Swerdzewski & Associates

Wednesday, July 16 | 8:30 - 10 a.m.

Don’t let a lack of trust derail you and your staff from agency mission, or stifle your labor-management relations. The key to trust is good communication and Mr. Swerdzewski will share how you can improve both. You’ll learn the essential elements of effective workplace communication and how to use the appropriate skills in meetings, counseling and problem-solving, as well as in a virtual workplace.

Session takeaways

  • Understand the importance of counseling early on in the process
  • Identify the barriers to trust
  • Regain lost trust
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50 More Nuggets From the ADR Wall of Fame ADR5

Roslyn D. Brown, Strategic Human Capital and Public Policy Consultant
Andrew Pizzi, Conflict Resolution Practitioner
Mary Ryan, ADR Consultant
John Settle, President, SETTLEment Associates, LLC

Wednesday, July 16 | 2 - 3:30 p.m.

Don’t miss this follow-up to last year’s popular, fast-moving workshop. These four practitioners, who possess more than 80 years of experience in federal ADR, will deliver more nuggets of wisdom along with a 60-second explanation for each. Each ADR giant will have a limited time to offer comments or contrary views – giving you the latest and best thinking in ADR and enhanced perspectives. Walk away with the latest and best tips on facilitation, coaching, interest-based problem-solving, conflict prevention, organizational conflict assessment and other ADR techniques.

Session takeaways

  • Explain how your agency can benefit from offering a variety of ADR techniques
  • Understand and use ADR skills
  • Follow basic steps to help clients assess what kind of ADR is best for their situations
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Defending and Reducing Attorney’s Fees

ATY1

Robert P. Erbe, Deputy Chief, Labor & Employment Law Division, Immigration &
   Customs Enforcement

Tuesday, July 15 | 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Getting an adverse finding is bad enough, but attorney’s fees quickly rack up and can become the agency’s biggest bill. This session will examine how to defend attorney’s fees petitions before the EEOC and MSPB.

Session takeaways

  • Determine when an employee is a “prevailing party”
  • Identify when attorney’s fees are “in the interest of justice”
  • Examine the reasonableness of fees and how to reduce the attorney’s fees being requested
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Ethical Issues in Federal Employment Law

ATY2

Peter H. Noone, Partner, Avery, Dooley, Post & Avery
Robin Wink, Owner, Rudman Wink Associates LLC

Tuesday, July 15 | 2 - 4 p.m.

Using an interactive scenario-based approach, Ms. Wink and Mr. Noone will tackle common ethical issues in witness preparation and other thorny issues, such as conflicts of interest, and clarify who is the government attorney’s client. Whether you represent employees or agencies, you’ll learn how to analyze and resolve issues that plague every attorney.

Session takeaways

  • Understand the ethical issues involved in witness preparation
  • Describe differences in “personal” and “agency” representation before the OSC
  • Clarify conflicts of interest under the ABA Model Rules and the Government Ethics Requirements

This session meets most states’ legal ethics training requirements.

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What Is Reprisal After Nassar? Is Protected EEO Activity Still Protected? ATY3

Ava Ganem, Staff Attorney, Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Employment Discrimination
   and Complaint Adjudication

Kevin Kelly, Staff Attorney, Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Employment Discrimination
    and Complaint Adjudication

Tuesday, July 15 | 4 - 5 p.m.

In University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, the Supreme Court held that a plaintiff making a retaliation claim must establish that the protected activity was the but-for cause of the alleged adverse action by the employer. The holding heightened the standard of proof required to establish a successful reprisal claim. Ms. Ganem and Mr. Kelly will provide a comprehensive review of the obligations of federal supervisors under Title VII in the post-Nassar era, examining each element of reprisal and how it was affected by this landmark decision.

Session takeaways

  • Explain how the Nassar holding affects management’s responsibilities under Title VII
  • Establish best practices for interacting with participants engaged in protected EEO activity
  • Provide a thorough framework for accepting, investigating and analyzing reprisal claims
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2014 Case Law Update ATY4

Donald J. Names, Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Department of the Navy
Steve Sharfstein, Chief of Labor Relations, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Sam Vitaro, Labor Arbitrator/Mediator/Fact-Finder/Consultant; former EEOC and MSPB
    Administrative Judge

Wednesday, July 16 | Part I: MSPB/FLRA 8:30 - 10 a.m.
  Part II: EEOC 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

This fast-paced, engaging double-session may be in the attorney track, but you don’t need a law degree to attend. It’s a must for anyone who needs to keep up with employment law – agency counsel, EEO professionals, HR practitioners, managers and union officials. Mr. Vitaro will cover the most important employee relations decisions issued by the EEOC, MSPB and various courts. Mr. Sharfstein will take a closer look at the decisions by the FLRA following its return to a full quorum. And last but not least, Mr. Names will guide you through the most critical EEO-related decisions from the past 12 months – and there have been plenty! You’ll leave with a thorough understanding of the most relevant cases, as well as some other cases of interest.

Session takeaways

  • Explain the reasoning behind recent decisions by the EEOC, MSPB, FLRA and courts
  • Recognize the impact of recent decisions on your agency’s workplace policies
  • Identify trends in federal workplace litigation
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Hatch Act Compliance and the 2014 Election Season

ATY5

Ana Galindo-Marrone, Chief, Hatch Act Unit, Office of Special Counsel

Wednesday, July 16 | 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

The Congressional election season is in full swing and federal employees continue to become more politically active, partly because most employees have access to the Internet at home and at work. Is it a Hatch Act violation to forward an email you received from a political party? Are you permitted to tweet your views about a candidate during your lunch break? How about inviting co-workers to a fundraiser? Learn the answers to these and other questions, with special attention to novel issues and emerging trends the Office of Special Counsel observed during and since the last election. You’ll learn to analyze different situations involving political activity and apply the corresponding regulations.

Session takeaways

  • Understand prohibited and permitted political activities to ensure compliance
  • Explain the new amendments to the Hatch Act, particularly the new penalty structure
  • Identify Hatch Act issues within the context of social media
  • Promote a nonpartisan work environment this year and beyond
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Speech in the Federal Workplace ATY6

Bruce Fong, Associate Special Counsel, Investigations and Prosecution Division,
   Office of Special Counsel

Mark Maxin, Assistant General Counsel for Administration, Office of the General Counsel,
   U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Wednesday, July 16 | 2 - 3:30 p.m.

It’s the Golden Age of social media, and free speech issues are coming up more often than ever in the workplace. The speech may be covered by the First Amendment, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, as well as civil rights laws – and understanding whether speech is protected is critical to avoiding liability and lawsuits. In a very practical way, Mr. Fong and Mr. Maxin will show you how to effectively handle issues where employees engage in critical speech in the workplace.

Session takeaways

  • Identify workplace speech that is protected
  • Clarify labor relations speech under Chapter 71 of Civil Service Reform Act
  • Discuss religious speech and the Free Exercise clause
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Proving and Defending Claims of Compensatory Damages ATY7

Joseph V. Kaplan, Managing Partner, Founding Principal, Attorney, Passman & Kaplan

Thursday, July 17 | 11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

It’s a common lament that some EEO complainants want to win the “$300,000 lottery.” Even if that threshold isn’t met, it’s clear that the costs of compensatory damages to an agency can add up quickly. Mr. Kaplan will review recent awards and discuss what a complainant must prove in order to receive a damages award. You’ll gain a clear understanding of the full range of remedies and damages available to complainants.

Session takeaways

  • Identify the situations where compensatory damages aren’t available
  • Accurately assess a case’s value
  • Determine whether to exclude requests for monetary damages by knowing the evidence necessary for awards
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Harassment-Free Federal Workplace EEO1

Sam Vitaro, Labor Arbitrator/Mediator/Fact-Finder/Consultant; former EEOC and MSPB
    Administrative Judge

Tuesday, July 15 | 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Harassment claims continue to flood the EEOC and it’s hard to get a handle on what constitutes harassment – or how to stop it. And it’s not just sexual harassment; other types of harassment are growing and often getting overlooked. Mr. Vitaro, a former administrative judge with the EEOC and MSPB, will parse through the legal jargon to deliver practical guidance on limiting your agency’s liability. He’ll familiarize you with the relevant case law, helping you save your agency significant sums of money otherwise spent on damages and complaints processing.

Session takeaways

  • Identify the factors that contribute to hostile environment
  • Determine the credibility of a claim
  • Understand the parameters of harassment and what makes it illegal
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Psychiatric and Psychological Disabilities in the Federal Workplace EEO2

Cindi Fox, Attorney
David Handsher, Arbitrator/Mediator

Tuesday, July 15 | 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 16 | 8:30 - 10 a.m.
[R]

Although mental disorders are relatively common and affect millions of Americans, they remain a mystery in the workplace. What obligations are there in the hiring process? Can you initiate a psychiatric evaluation of an employee? Can you isolate an employee from others or grant leave as accommodations? Using fact patterns, Ms. Fox and Mr. Handsher will summarize the law and provide specific case citations to help you better understand when and how to accommodate employees with psychiatric and psychological disabilities.

Session takeaways

  • Determine if an employee is a qualified individual with a disability
  • Comprehend the interplay between mental disabilities and misconduct
  • Assess whether an employee is a “safety threat”
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Think Tank for Advanced EEO Professionals EEO3

Oliver Allen, EEO Officer, Department of Justice/Drug Enforcement Administration
Roslyn D. Brown, Strategic Human Capital and Public Policy Consultant

Wednesday, July 16 | 8:30 - 10 a.m.

Are you looking for a higher-level discussion of EEO issues? This is it – a think (and action) tank where you’ll confer with fellow EEO professionals about challenging issues in a safe environment. Mr. Allen and Ms. Brown will guide the discussion, allowing you to tap into each other’s collective experiences. Expect candid talk and real-life strategies to resolve your thorniest EEO challenges.

Lead by Design, Not Default: Overcoming Unconscious Bias

EEO4

Bruce Stewart, Deputy Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Personnel Management

Wednesday, July 16 | 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

When we are fully conscious, we are intentional about our choices. Unfortunately, our unconscious patterns often kick in by default. The insidiousness of default decisions is that we are wholly unaware of how our own thoughts, feelings and actions are working in opposition of what we want. Mr. Stewart will provide the skills, tools and mental map for you to be a self-aware, powerful communicator with a foundation of extraordinary vision, integrity and values.

Session takeaways

  • Learn the science behind bias and how our brains are “wired” to use bias to protect us
  • Spot micro-behavior in yourself and others
  • Understand the impact of affinity bias and learn techniques for personal bias reduction
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Managing Transgender Inclusion in the Federal Workplace EEO5

Justin Mulaire, Trial Attorney, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Wednesday, July 16 | 2 - 3:30 p.m.

Recent decisions in the Schroer and Macy cases have put agencies on notice: Claims of sex discrimination based on transgender status are cognizable under Title VII. Through the perspective of transgender individuals, Mr. Mulaire will explain the core concepts to help you better understand gender identity issues, plus give you appropriate strategies to educate managers and employees at your agency. He’ll describe the particular challenges that often arise in the workplace – appearance, pronouns, use of bathrooms, confidentiality and more – plus the steps your agency should take to comply with the law and treat transgender employees with dignity and respect.

Session takeaways

  • Identify the laws, policies and regulations that protect transgender individuals in the workplace
  • Explain how transgender individuals fit into the concept of diversity and inclusion
  • Understand what happens when individuals transition to a different gender and how that impacts the workplace
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Issuing Final Agency Actions and Meeting the Mark EEO6

Kelly Goode, EEO Officer, National Gallery of Art
Delia Johnson, Director, Office of Civil Rights, International Broadcasting Bureau; Board of
   Governors, Voice of America

Wednesday, July 16 | 3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Ms. Goode and Ms. Johnson will provide the necessary tools for drafting effective final agency decisions at your agency. FAD writing is, perhaps, the most complex part of the EEO complaint process. It’s critical that you do an in-depth analysis, weighing the differing opinions, to reach the “right” conclusion. They’ll discuss everything from framing the claim to specifically explaining the legal and factual basis for the decision.

Session takeaways

  • Evaluate accepted claims
  • Assess the sufficiency of the report of investigation
  • Create a checklist and outline for the final draft
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Town Hall Conversation with FMCS Deputy Director Allison Beck EXEC1

Allison Beck, Deputy Director, Federal Mediation and  Conciliation Service
Moderator: Denise McKenney, EEO Director, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service 

Tuesday, July 15 | 4 - 5 p.m.

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Town Hall Conversation With MSPB Chair Susan Tsui Grundmann EXEC2-A

Susan Tsui Grundmann, Chair, Merit Systems Protection Board
Moderator: Debra L. Roth, Partner, Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C.

Wednesday, July 16 | 10:30 - 11:15 a.m.

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Town Hall Conversation With FLRA Chair Carol Waller Pope EXEC2-B

Carol Waller Pope, Chair, Federal Labor Relations Authority
Moderator: Joseph Swerdzewski, Managing Partner, Joseph Swerdzewski & Associates

Wednesday, July 16 | 11:15 a.m. - 12 p.m.

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Town Hall Conversation With OPM Director Katherine Archuleta

EXEC3

Katherine Archuleta, Director, Office of Personnel Management
Moderator: Jeff Neal, Senior Vice President, ICF International; Publisher, ChiefHRO.com

Wednesday, July 16 | 3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

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Town Hall Conversation With EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien EXEC4

Jacqueline Berrien, Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (invited)
Moderator: Jo Linda Johnson, EEO Director, Transportation SecurityAdministration

Thursday, July 17 | 10 - 11 a.m.

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Town Hall Conversation With Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner EXEC5

Carolyn Lerner, Special Counsel, Office of Special Counsel
Moderator: Debra L. Roth, Partner, Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C.

Thursday, July 17 | 11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

FDR gives you the opportunity to hear from, and speak directly with, the leaders of the major dispute resolution agencies. In the Town Hall Conversations, our experienced and widely respected moderators will direct the conversation as the leaders take questions directly from you live and via text, as well as questions solicited before the event. This is a rare opportunity to gain vital insights about these agencies’ goals and agendas for the upcoming year.

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Think Tank for Advanced Employee and Labor Relations Professionals HLE1

Barbara Haga, ER/LR Consultant; President, Federal HR Services Inc.
Don Rider, Senior Associate, RGS, Inc.

Tuesday, July 15 | 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Are you looking to dig deeper into critical employee or labor relations issues? This open forum, led by Ms. Haga and Mr. Rider, gives you the opportunity to share ideas and strategies with your fellow ER and LR professionals. Together, you’ll identify the most difficult challenges and work together to develop inventive strategies. 

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Clean Record Agreements HLE2

Grace Carter, Administrative Judge, San Francisco Bay Area Office, Merit Systems
   Protection Board

Tuesday, July 15 | 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 17 | 11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
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More than two-thirds of adverse action appeals before the Merit Systems Protection Board are resolved by settlement agreements. Of those, more than half are clean record agreements, so chances are you have signed one on behalf of your client. Are you certain you knew what you were committing to and what effect the agreement will really have? Hear this practical discussion of how nuances in the language of CRAs and the specific facts of individual cases have brought about unintended and disparate results in seemingly similar situations. Learn how to draft CRAs that are valid, workable and clearly express the intentions of the parties.

Session takeaways

  • Identify what systems of records that the CRA states or implies will be cleaned
  • Determine which individuals or entities are bound by commitments made in the CRA
  • Learn how entities, rules and laws outside the agreement can affect the ability of parties to meet their obligations
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Interviews and Reference Checking HLE3

Barbara Haga, ER/LR Consultant; President, Federal HR Services Inc.

Wednesday, July 16 | 8:30 - 10 a.m.

Don’t want bad employees? Then don’t hire them in the first place. The key is to ask the right questions during interviews and reference checks. Behavioral-based interview questions can help you determine the applicant’s true knowledge and depth of experience. And reference checks can uncover shortcomings or red flags about a job candidate. Ms. Haga will provide the tools you need to develop a dependable and effective hiring process.

Session takeaways

  • Know exactly what to ask when interviewing applicants
  • Accurately assess a job candidate’s answers
  • Ensure reference checks are based on observation of work and focused on specifics
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It’s About the Money: Back Pay Act and Sovereign Immunity HLE4

David Eddy, Senior Attorney-Advisor, Federal Labor Relations Authority
Gina K. Grippando, Chief, Case Intake and Publication, Federal Labor Relations Authority

Wednesday, July 16 | 2 - 3:30 p.m.

Find out what is required in order for parties to successfully recover, or defend against attempts to recover, monetary remedies from the federal government. Mr. Eddy and Ms. Grippando will discuss the ins and outs of the Back Pay Act, as well as significant administrative and court decisions interpreting the Act.

Session takeaways

  • Understand the concept of sovereign immunity
  • Identify the requirements of the Back Pay Act
  • Apply Back Pay Act requirements in real-life situations
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Due Process: Adverse Actions for Loss of Qualification or Inability to Perform HLE5

Doug Whitaker, Senior Attorney, Immigration & Customs Enforcement

Wednesday, July 16 | 3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Numerous federal jobs – law enforcement officers, nurses, lawyers and others – require employees to successfully maintain a qualification or hold the ability to perform a unique essential function. What happens when that employee no longer meets those requirements because of a loss of security clearance or professional license? Or faces a charge of domestic violence, a felony conviction, or driver’s license suspension or revocation? Mr. Whitaker will discuss the different amounts of due process required when an agency takes an adverse action based on its own determination compared to when a third party takes an action that impacts the employee’s ability to perform his duties.

Session takeaways

  • Determine when a qualification of employment is an essential job requirement
  • Identify common scenarios that negatively impact a federal employee’s ability to perform
  • Explore alternative penalties for employees who have lost a qualification
  • Know the latest due process developments regarding removal actions relating to agency determinations as to fitness to occupy a non-critical, sensitive position focused on specifics
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Management Rights Demystified HLE6

David Eddy, Senior Attorney-Advisor, Federal Labor Relations Authority
Gina K. Grippando, Chief, Case Intake and Publication, Federal Labor Relations Authority

Thursday, July 17 | 10 - 11 a.m.

Section 7106 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute lays out the types of discretion reserved to management officials. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most complicated provisions of law that federal-sector management and union representatives encounter. Mr. Eddy and Ms. Grippando will discuss the recent groundbreaking D.C. Circuit case involving the Treasury Department. They will also identify various management rights, and explain how those rights apply in the context of negotiations and arbitration.

Session takeaways

  • Identify the exceptions to management rights
  • Explain the significance of the FLRA’s decision in Environmental Protection Agency and American Federation of Government Employees, Council 238
  • Apply the concept “permissive scope of bargaining”
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Ex Parte Communications and Due Process – Can They Coexist? HLE7

Tamara Ribas, Administrative Judge, San Francisco Bay Area Office, Merit Systems
    Protection Board

Thursday, July 17 | 10 - 11 a.m.

Although it is the responsibility of an agency deciding official to investigate all the facts that might affect a proposed adverse action, diligently doing so may put the agency at risk of reversal by the MSPB without the administrative judge even considering the merits of the decision. Do you know why? Find out here, as an MSPB representative explores the effect ex parte communications may have on the viability of an adverse action and the things you need to know about due process to avoid surprises on appeal: Are all ex parte communications prohibited? Is it safe to rely on matters known to the agency without ex parte contacts? And more!

Session takeaways

  • Identify the requirements of due process
  • Recognize what ex parte communications and considerations are prohibited
  • Learn the sure way to avoid certain reversal on due process grounds
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Legislative Update

Jessica Klement, Legislative Director, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association
Jennifer A. Mattingley, Director of Government Affairs, Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C.

Tuesday, July 15 | 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Does it feel like you’ve been keeping an eye on Congress for the past couple of years worried how its inaction would impact you, yet fearing that when it does take action, things could get worse? It’s been a tumultuous few years for federal employees, to say the least. What’s on the horizon? What workplace-related bills are being discussed behind the scenes? What about pay? Benefits? Ms. Klement and Ms. Mattingley will bring you the latest on what’s been proposed, what they expect to be proposed and the likelihood that any of it will pass.

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Ready, Set, Ask the Experts

Session I
Tuesday, July 15 | 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Roslyn Brown, Jessica Klement, Steve Muir, Don Rider, Mary Ryan

Session II
Wednesday, July 16 | 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Robert Erbe, Ana Galindo-Marrone, Donald J. Names, Steven Sharfstein, Sam Vitaro

You’ve waited in line after a session ends, hoping to ask the presenter just one question. Wouldn’t it be great if your favorite FDR speakers had office hours – like your college professors? We’ve got you covered. Whether it’s about how to handle a workplace challenge or how to further your career, Ready, Set, Ask the Experts gives you the opportunity to pose your specific questions to some of our most popular speakers! Our experts will each command their own table, where they will discuss issues with up to two attendees at a time for a 10 minute period. When the bell rings, it’s time to move onto the next table for more advice!

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