"Serving those who serve in government"
Call now for a free consultation 888-351-0424

Due process is important for all federal workers

There has been much discussion on the topic of the firing of federal employees. Some still try to sell the old line that "you can't fire a federal employee." This is, to put it bluntly, hogwash. As the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) notes in a recent report to the President and Congress, tens of thousands of federal employees have been fired over the last 10 years.

In spite of the outrage over the Veterans' affairs hospitals and manipulation of scheduling treatment for veterans, the reality is any agency could fire any employee who violated the law or internal agency rules, or whose conduct fell far below the required standards. 

The MSPB explains in great detail, with supporting statutes, regulations and case law, the process of adverse actions and removals of federal workers.

The Board points out that an agency has 30 days to put into effect an adverse action, and if they suspect serious criminal activity, that shrinks to seven days. The employee must know what they are charged with and have time to respond, which they can do with their own attorney, at their own expense. And they must be provided the reason for the decision in writing.

In the end, what is clear is that when agencies fail to remove an individual, it is likely the agency failed to properly marshal its evidence and show with facts the necessity of the individual's removal.

Some cases may take longer, but that is often because the agency requires more time to build and support its case. Many of these questions are not easy or obvious. Performance assessments are fraught with subjectivity and if you were placed under oath, just how would you describe your reasons for firing a coworker?

Many cases have exceptional or unique circumstances that often are sanded away by 15-second sound bites. As with an iceberg, in disciplinary actions, many of the issues are obscured by in the depths.

Due process is one of the most fundamental of all rights that Americans hold dear. We should always be alert to threats that seek to undermine that right, no matter their justification.

Source: MSPB.gov, "What is Due Process in Federal Civil Service Employment?" U.S. MERIT SYSTEMS PROTECTION BOARD, May 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
American Bar Association Logo Best Attorneys Online Logo Elite Lawyers 2017 Logo Lead Counsel Rated Logo The New York Times Logo Avvo Rating 9.7 Logo State Bar of Texas Logo

We Understand That Your Federal Career Is On The Line
We offer a free consultation, and our fee structures are designed to meet your needs.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business.

Back To Top