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.
Our law firm represents federal employees in proposed disciplinary cases. This article discusses the response process for federal employees when they received a proposed disciplinary or adverse action.
Types of Proposed Disciplinary and Adverse Actions
Most proposed disciplinary or adverse actions for federal employees are of two types: (1) proposed suspensions or demotions; and (2) proposed removals. Depending on the type of proposed disciplinary action, a federal employee can have varying legal defenses. Click to the next page to see a description of the response process.
Federal employee use of government computers and workplace internet is fairly common at federal agencies. As a result, there are many times when federal employees get into disciplinary trouble involving their use of workplace computers or the internet. It is generally advised that federal employees avoid using federal agency computers and/or workplace internet, even where permitted, wherever possible. Many future problems can be avoided by taking this approach.
The most frequent problems that arise for federal employees in this area involve: (1) watching extended entertainment programs (Neltfix, Hulu, etc.); (2) excessive social media usage (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram); (3) gaming at work; and (4) watching, sending or receiving sexually explicit materials. There are any other number of examples which could run afoul of individual federal agency policies. While a number of federal agencies have adopted personal usage policies, many federal employees have not been given full training in this area and may run into potential disciplinary problems.
This article discusses some of the more common issues. Please continue below to read the article.
We often represent federal employees in investigations before the Officeof Inspector General (OIG) of their federal agency. When a federal employee is under investigation (or going to be interviewed) by their respective OIG it is important for them to be aware of their legal rights, options and best plan of action for any potential legal defense. This article covers many of the issues that arise when a federal employee is contacted by their federal agency’s OIG.
Our law firm represents federal employees who have been placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) relating to alleged poor performance. Federal employees should always be wary if they learn that a PIP is being recommended or considered as a means of correcting a federal employee’s work performance. In our experience, the issuance of a PIP almost always indicates the beginning of the removal or reassignment process for a federal employee. Federal employees, however, are usually told that a PIP is only designed to benefit them and make them better performers. This, unfortunately, is not the usual case.
Our law firm represents federal employees in federal employee grievance procedures. Most, if not all federal agencies have their own federal employee grievance procedures. Most of these procedures are similar but each agency may have their own twists that an employee should be aware of. Continue reading →
Our law firm represents and defends federal employees who have been alleged to have committed Hatch Act violations, require Hatch Act guidance or legal defense or have been subjected to illegal political discrimination in the federal workplace. Continue reading →
We represent and advise federal employees in the filing of Office of Special Counsel (OSC) complaints against their federal agencies and federal supervisors involved in such complaints. A number of issues can arise when an OSC complaint is contemplated that should be considered by a federal employee before proceeding. This article is a short summary of the OSC complaint process. Continue reading →
We represent and advise federal employees when they request desk audits regarding their current positions. As one might imagine, a number of issues can arise when a desk audit is contemplated. A desk audit is simply a procedure where the duties and position of a federal employee are evaluated to determine whether or not the employee’s position should be upgraded in terms of grade, pay level, title or classification series. A desk audit is also referred to as a classification appeal. Continue reading →
We often represent and defend federal employees in proposed disciplinary actions. When a federal employee is facing proposed discipline it is important for them to speak with an attorney knowledgeable in federal employment law for legal advice and representation. This article outlines some key points for federal employees as they respond to proposed disciplinary actions. We have also drafted a Sample Proposed Action, a hypothetical proposed removal, so that federal employees can better understand how a disciplinary action starts. Continue reading →