There is short window to give your formal reply
Employees of federal agencies have many rights that do not apply in the private sector. One important protection is the right to be notified in advance of disciplinary action.
If you are facing an adverse action – suspension, demotion or removal – you may have as little as seven days to give your formal reply. With your job and possibly your federal career on the line, you should involve an attorney who practices federal employment law.
The dreaded proposal of adverse action
You may find your job in jeopardy due to supposed misconduct or performance issues. Your federal agency must give you a written proposal that outlines (a) the evidence of wrongdoing or poor performance and (b) the adverse employment action that is proposed. The proposal must be provided at least 30 days in advanced of the sanctions.
The agency must give you an opportunity to provide a formal reply to the proposed sanctions. This time frame may be as short as seven days, depending on the agency and the type of action.
Your reply is reviewed by a higher level manager. Even if the agency upholds the proposal and implements the proposed action, your formal reply will serve as the foundation for appeal. It is important to provide a detailed and timely response. Your attorney can help you draft a reply that complies with your agency’s protocols.
Appealing an unfavorable decision through the MSPB
If you are slated for termination, downgrade or suspension of 14 or more days, you can appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board. Your case will be heard in an MSPB hearing or, or in an arbitration if you are a member of a union.
Passman & Kaplan, P.C., regularly advocates for U.S. government employees nationwide who have received a proposal for adverse action. We also represent federal employees who have already been demoted, suspended or fired for conduct or performance issues.