Defending Federal Employees in PIP cases

By John V. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.com

It is important that federal employees faced with a performance improvement plan (PIP) consult an attorney as soon as possible. The longer that a federal employee goes forward in the performance improvement process, without legal representation, the more difficult it may be for an attorney to assist that individual later in the process. When federal employees fall below expected standards, they may be placed on a PIP. A PIP usually begins following a poor performance rating.

Performance Improvement Plans

The use of a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is typically the beginning of the removal or demotion process for a federal employee. It is common practice for federal employees to be initially told that placement on a PIP is designed as a positive benefit to them and necessary to make them better performers. Managers sometimes even promise employees that they will be given special assistance to ensure that they are successful during their PIP periods, only to later find themselves facing a potential removal a few months later.

This article discusses federal employee concerns when PIPs become an issue. Please continue reading on the next page.

OPM Proposes Changes to Allow Clear Record Agreements and Other Civil Service Issues

By John V. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.com

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has just issued new proposed regulations to rescind many of the prior Administration’s federal employee rule changes. The changes by OPM were those put into motion earlier this year when the President revoked Executive Order 13839 by signing Executive Order 14003. The President, in Executive Order 14003, directed OPM to suspend, revise, or rescind actions implementing Executive Order 13839.

OPM’s new rules will likely be fully implemented as soon as the short comment period is over.  The changes will eliminate the clean record settlement ban, alter performance-based actions, revise probationary period notices, and change a few other personnel issues for federal employees. By far, the most crucial change is the ability for federal agencies to enter into clear record settlements with federal employees in cases.

Avoid Politics in the Federal Workplace

By John V. Berry, www.berrylegal.com

The 2019 primaries and 2020 national elections are approaching soon. Our law firm often represents and defends federal employees in Hatch Act violation cases. The Hatch Act was meant to curtail partisan political involvement for federal employees. There are certain restrictions that prohibit certain political conduct, both on-duty and off-duty. As these elections approach, this article is meant to help federal employees avoid the problems of committing potential Hatch Act violations.   Continue reading