Robert Dietrich

Since retiring in 2011 after nearly 40 years of federal service, Bob Dietrich has been active in training supervisors and HR staff on FLSA and FMLA. He has a three-day course that he can bring to your agency, and he may be reached through the FedSmith.com website.

Balancing Dress Codes With Religious Beliefs

By on June 16, 2015 in Human Resources, Leadership with 0 Comments

Employers will use dress and appearance standards to create an employment “brand” for who they are, their culture and their values. As society becomes more casual in its dress standards, employers can find that instituting a dress code will not only draw resistance from some employees, it can land the company in the middle of a religious discrimination lawsuit.

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Outlining and Scripting Keys to Successful Witness Preparation

By on May 4, 2015 in Leadership with 0 Comments

The author says that witness preparation is a very important step in the planning process for a successful hearing. In his second article on the subject, he outlines some specific tips to cover with your witnesses when preparing for a hearing.

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Witness Preparation: The Key to Success

By on April 10, 2015 in Court Cases with 0 Comments

The author says that witness preparation is a very important step in the preparation process for a successful hearing. He recounts some of his own personal experiences to illustrate why he believes this to be so.

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Past Practice Doctrine

By on March 19, 2015 in Current Events with 0 Comments

The author discusses the concept of past practice as it applies to bargaining agreements between an agency and a union.

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Do Your Supervisors and Managers Know the Basics?

By on March 11, 2015 in Human Resources with 0 Comments

The author says that managers are not getting the necessary training or the backing of their senior management to take on the problem employee. He says it is this lack of training that causes supervisors not to address problem employees.

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FMLA and The Treacherous Triangle

By on January 28, 2015 in Current Events, Human Resources with 0 Comments

The author says that the workplace has its own “treacherous triangle” that instills distress in managers trying to accomplish a program plan consisting of FMLA, ADA, and FECA. He explains more about what these are and how they interact with each other.

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Basic Ethical Principles Rewarded? Not Even Close

By on December 24, 2014 in Human Resources with 0 Comments

Senior level managers are performing their duties with the government in the “public trust” to ensure the taxpayers receive the best quality of service, free from fraud, waste and abuse. The author says there are three basic duties that go along with this responsibility and asks whether or not they are clearly defined in every agency’s core operating philosophies. His supposition? Not even close.

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The Mailbox Rule Revisited

By on November 5, 2014 in Court Cases, Human Resources with 0 Comments

The author cites a recent court decision in which the court ruled that email is not a viable means of certifying that an employee received a notice of FMLA certification. He says this sets a troubling precedent and describes the problems he believes the case will present for federal managers.

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The Mailbox Rule

Historically, federal agencies have used what is known as the “mailbox rule.” This maxim provides that if a notice or letter is properly addressed and duly mailed, it is presumed to have arrived at the mailing address in due course. However, the author cites cases which illustrate that this does not always work out as an agency would expect.

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Managing Leave and Attendance Problems

By on March 23, 2014 in Court Cases, Human Resources with 0 Comments

Leave abuse and attendance problems can harm an organization. The author says that these problems mostly lie with management and offers some suggestions for how to deal with the problem. He also analyzes the history of some related MSPB cases for precedent on leave issues.

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