Representing Federal Employees: How to Do It and Why You Should

Comprehensive WEBINAR presented in four parts

January 22, January 27, February 10, February 17, 2021

MCLE credit: 6.50 hours participatory, including 2.0 hours Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society.

Click here to Register

Now is the perfect time for plaintiffs employment attorneys to expand their practices to include federal employee representation! Recent actions by federal government whistleblowers garnered national attention and piqued the interest of employment attorneys, and federal agencies in the new Biden administration are more likely to  respond to employees’ claims of harm. 

But the federal employment scheme is unfamiliar to most plaintiffs employment attorneys.  Only a handful of CELA and NELA members represent federal employees, and some of these members only accept certain types of cases. And, though the federal workforce is far more racially diverse than most other sectors, attorneys who represent federal employees are overwhelmingly white.

There has never been a greater need for attorneys representing federal employees, but the shortage of attorneys and lack of attorney diversity persist.  CELA and NELA hope to address these imbalances by training more plaintiffs  attorneys, particularly attorneys of color, in representing federal sector employees.

Toward that goal, this program is designed to familiarize attorneys with the federal process – necessary because the federal process is often counter-intuitive; overlaps from one area to the next; is always complex; and the deadlines are extraordinarily short.  Much of the legal action takes place in administrative proceedings rather than court.

 

This is one webinar, presented in four sessions.  Session 1 is a prerequisite for later sessions as it includes foundational material that will not be repeated in later sessions; any related questions will be deferred to the end of the session and addressed only if there is time.

 

Session 1: Introduction to federal employment system and agencies

Friday, January 22, 2021                12:00pm – 1:30pm PST/3:00pm – 4:30pm EST

90 mins.

  • Why representing federal government employees is important
  • Benefits to plaintiffs attorneys in representing federal government employees
  • Overview of federal government employment, including categories of employees
  • Traps

 

Session 2: Federal civil service and due process: Merit Systems Protection Board

Wednesday, January 27, 2021      12:00pm – 1:30pm PST/3:00pm – 4:30pm EST

90 mins.

  • The federal Merit System
  • The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)
  • Who can file an appeal, and for what
  • How to initiate MSPB appeals
  • Characteristics of the MSPB
  • Procedure and deadlines
  • Options at conclusion of hearing
  • Traps and tips

 

Session 3: Federal whistleblowers: Office of Inspector General and Office of Special Counsel

Wednesday, February 10, 2021    12:00pm – 1:30pm PST/3:00pm – 4:30pm EST

90 mins.

  • The Office of the Inspector General
  • Who can file a claim, and for what
  • How to initiate OIG cases
  • What triggers an OIG investigation
  • Characteristics of the OIG
  • Procedure and deadlines
  • Options at conclusion of process
  • Traps and tips
  • The Office of the Special Counsel
  • Who can file a claim, and for what
  • How to initiate OSC cases
  • What triggers an OSC investigation
  • Characteristics of the OSC
  • Procedure and deadlines
  • Options at conclusion of process
  • Traps and tips

 

Session 4: Prohibited discrimination: Mandatory internal process and the EEOC

Wednesday, February 17, 2021    12:00pm – 2:00pm PST (10-min. break)/3:00pm – 5:00pm EST (10-min. break)

120 mins.

  • The federal equal employment process
  • Who can file a claim, and for what
  • Three administrative phases to a discrimination case
  • Counseling process
    • Characteristics of counseling
    • Procedure and deadlines
    • Options at conclusion of counseling
    • Traps and tips
  • Formal process
    • Characteristics of formal process
    • Procedure and deadlines
    • Options at conclusion of formal process
    • Traps and tips
  • Hearing process
    • EEOC, Division of Federal Sector Hearings
    • Procedure and deadlines
    • Pre-hearing process
    • Evidentiary hearing before EEOC administrative judge
    • Options at conclusion of hearing
    • Traps and tips
  • Representing Congressional employees in discrimination claims
  • Options for moving case to federal court

 

Written materials include exemplars of primary documents (forms, briefs, motions, discovery); and resources such as reference materials, on-line data bases, agency web sites, other web sites, and more.

 

Faculty:

Ronald Ackerman, Culver City, CA
Kristin Alden, Washington, DC
Les Alderman, Washington, D.C.
Susan Jewell, Portland, OR
Thomas J. McCammon, San Diego, CA
Wendy Musell, Oakland, CA
Marilynn Mika Spencer, San Diego, CA

 

 

MCLE credit: 6.50 general hours participatory, including 2.00 hours Elimination of Bias in Legal Profession and Society (part 4).

CELA is a State Bar of California MCLE provider, #2292.