While employment with the federal government has its benefits, these benefits come with certain tradeoffs. One of these tradeoffs is being subject to the government’s strict and comprehensive structure for employee discipline. Whether you are facing a reprimand, a reduction in pay grade, or removal from the federal sector, you need to take your situation very seriously, as the outcome of your disciplinary or adverse action case could have consequences for years – if not decades – to come.
What does it mean to face disciplinary or adverse action as a federal employee? In broad terms, it means that you are being accused of improper, unethical, or unlawful conduct either on the job or on your own personal time. More specifically, discipline and adverse action actually mean different things. “Discipline” refers to reprimands and suspensions of 14 days or less. “Adverse action” refers to furloughs, suspensions of 15 days or more, reductions in pay grade, demotions, terminations, and removals.
Experienced Representation for Federal Employees Nationwide
At Melville Johnson, P.C., we represent federal employees facing disciplinary and adverse action nationwide. Our attorneys have over 30 years of combined experience in federal employment cases, representing employees in all agencies and at all stages of the process, from investigations to appeals in federal court. Regardless of the status of your case – whether you are being investigated or you need to begin the appeals process with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) – we have the experience, capabilities, and desire to protect your legal and Constitutional rights.
Our firm is led by George Melville Johnson, a federal employment attorney who has been fighting to protect employees’ rights for more than 24 years. He has represented thousands of employees before the MSPB and in federal courts around the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Johnson is a passionate advocate for employees’ rights, and he is well-known for providing aggressive and results-oriented legal representation.
“I highly recommend [Mr.] Johnson! He truly cares and he gets results. I wouldn’t go anywhere else!” – Verified Review by a Federal Employee
The Help You Need When You Need It
If you are facing disciplinary or adverse action as a federal employee, we encourage you to contact us for a confidential consultation. Our attorneys represent federal employees in all discipline-related matters, including:
- Federal Discipline (Suspension/Termination/Removal)
- Federal Reduction in Force (RIF)
- Retaliation Protection
- Employee Investigations
Federal Employee Disciplinary and Adverse Action FAQs
Q: If I did what the investigators say I did, do I still need an attorney?
Yes, absolutely. Most importantly, while some cases are clear-cut, the rules, policies, and procedures governing federal government personnel are extraordinarily complex. Even if you think you committed an infraction, it may be that what you did does not actually qualify for disciplinary or adverse action. Additionally, even if you did do something wrong, you may still be able to avoid disciplinary or adverse action by proving that the government failed to follow its own requirements for conducting investigations or administering discipline.
Q: My federal agency is preparing for a reduction in force. Is there anything I can do to help protect my job?
Potentially, yes. Federal agencies must consider a number of specific factors and follow a specific set of procedures when conducting reductions in force. Our attorneys may be able to help you protect your current job; or, if necessary, we may be able to help you seek a new position while retaining your current pay grade.
Q: What are my options if I have been disciplined for reporting improper conduct by my supervisor or coworkers?
This is known in legal terms as “retaliation,” and it is strictly prohibited under federal law. If you are a victim of retaliation in your federal job, we can help you seek the compensation, benefits, and employment to which you are legally entitled.
Q: If I am still under investigation, is it too soon to hire an attorney?
No. Hiring an attorney during your investigation will give you the best chance to avoid disciplinary or adverse action, and this can save you from having to deal with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and federal court appeals. Even if you ultimately face discipline, having an attorney represent you during your investigation will help ensure that you preserve your legal defenses on appeal.
Contact the Federal Employment Attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C.
For more information about your rights as a federal employee, contact the national law offices of Melville Johnson, P.C. for an initial consultation. To discuss your investigation, reduction in force, or disciplinary matter in confidence, please call (888) 846-7844 or inquire online today.