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The Current State Of Disciplinary Actions & Federal Employees

It’s a tough time to be a federal employee.

Many federal employees are being unfairly subjected to disciplinary actions by their employers.

The executive order issued last year governing federal employee discipline was meant to increase the efficiency of federal workplaces. However, agency management officials are using it to discipline or remove employees for unwarranted purposes – including the removal of employees that they don’t personally like.

What should federal employees do?

First, it is important for federal employees to remember that there is no such thing as a “small discipline”. Every disciplinary action should be taken seriously. Even if it doesn’t end in removal, a disciplinary action can later be used against the employee.

Next, if any of the following is happening or has happened to you, it is advisable to speak to an attorney as soon as possible:

  • You are being investigated
  • You have been placed on a performance plan
  • You have received a poor, unwarranted performance review
  • You have been issued a proposed disciplinary action

Remember: By the time any of this has happened to you, your manager has likely consulted with the General Counsel’s office, HR or other in-house agency or subject matter expert. Your manager has probably already started building a case against you.

As a federal employee in this position, it is advisable to take immediate action. Going to HR or the EEO office at this point may actually do more harm than good. Instead, it is advisable to speak to an employment law attorney that focuses on representing federal employees.

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