An employee may be disciplined for conduct which adversely affects the efficiency of the service. Keep in mind that the goal of any discipline is to correct the misconduct and modify the behavior, rather than to punish the employee.
Where Do I Start?
As a manager, you play the primary role in making the case for taking disciplinary action against an employee. However, you are not alone in the process. The Employee and Labor Relations Branch (ELRB) is available for information, advice, and support. Take advantage of their services. If the situation involves apparent misconduct, the first question to ask is whether any discipline is appropriate; this is, whether any level of disciplinary action may be supported by sufficient facts to pass muster as justifiable discipline before an outside party. The key factors such a party will consider include the following:
Gather as much information as is readily available and contact your Employee Relations (ER) Specialist in the Human Resources Office.
Rules and Flexibilities:
Disciplinary actions (e.g. suspensions and removals) are governed by the due process requirements of 5 U.S.C. Chapter 75 and the case law of the Merit Systems Protections Board (MSPB) and the Federal Courts. An employee serving a probationary period (usually the first year of Federal employment) who engages in inappropriate conduct can be removed with a minimum of formal procedure. You should consult with your ER Specialist about the procedures applicable to probationary employees.
No forms are needed, but your ER Specialist should be consulted for guidance on what should be contained in any memoranda you will issue.
A disciplinary action should be taken promptly after an instance of misconduct occurs. Contact your ER Specialist for appropriate time frames.
Good Management Practices: