Federal Discipline (Suspension/Termination/Removal)

If you are facing suspension, termination, or removal from employment as a form of disciplinary action by the federal government, it is important that you promptly seek legal advice. While federal agencies may suspend and terminate employees under appropriate circumstances, there are strict rules they need to follow, and you may be entitled to reinstatement if your disciplinary action was unlawful. Improper disciplinary action by the federal government can be reversed. At Melville Johnson, P.C., we can help protect your right to federal employment.

Aside from lawful reductions in force (RIF), there are only a limited number of circumstances in which the federal government can suspect, terminate, or remove an employee. These include:

  • Conduct Unbecoming a Federal Employee
  • Failure to Follow Supervisor Orders
  • Failure to Meet the Requirements of a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)
  • Falsifying Federal Information
  • Insubordination
  • Loss of Necessary Security Clearance
  • Misuse of a Government-Owned Vehicle
  • Misuse of Government Property
  • Negligence
  • Pending Criminal Charges
  • Unfitness for Duty Due to Medical Condition
  • Violation of Prohibited Personnel Practices
  • Violence or Harassment in the Workplace

However, federal discipline cases are rarely straightforward. We can make sure your story gets heard, and we can make sure that you do not face discipline or adverse action in violation of your legal rights. If discipline or adverse action has already been imposed, we can fight for you on appeal before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

Led by founding attorney George Melville Johnson, our firm brings more than 30 years’ experience to representing federal employees. Our attorneys have handled thousands of cases at the agency level, before the MSPB, and in federal court, and we represent federal employees in all 50 states. Contact us so that we can explain your options, and find out if you are entitled to have your suspension, termination, or removal overturned.

“I really appreciate [what the attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. did for me]. I could have never gotten through the EEO on my own, but these guys are pros! Thanks again for being so professional and helpful.” – Verified Review by a Federal Employee

Federal Employee Discipline FAQs

Q: Can the federal government suspend my employment indefinitely?

Potentially, yes. Under the right circumstances, federal agencies can suspend employees indefinitely – with or without pay. Indefinite suspensions typically involve situations where:

  • The agency has reasonable cause to believe that the employee has committed a crime which could result in imprisonment;
  • The agency has legitimate concerns that the employee is unfit for duty due to a medical condition that is potentially dangerous for co-workers; or,
  • The employee has lost his or her security clearance, even pending final determination, and such clearance is required for the performance of the employee’s job duties.

Q: How long do I have to appeal my suspension?

By law, the federal government must give you at least 30 days’ prior written notice before your suspension takes effect. This notice must meet various requirements; and, if it is insufficient, this alone can be enough to have your suspension overturned by the MSPB.

If your suspension has already taken effect, it may not be too late to seek reinstatement. However, it is imperative that you speak with a federal employment attorney as soon as possible. If you were recently suspended from federal employment, we urge you to contact us immediately to discuss your case.

Q: Can I recover back pay if I was wrongfully suspended, terminated, or removed from federal employment?

Potentially, yes. In addition to seeking reinstatement, through the MSPB appeal process federal employees who have been suspended, terminated, or removed can also seek:

  • Back pay and front pay
  • Change in pay grade
  • Reimbursement for lost benefits
  • Promotion
  • Purging of adverse employment records

The remedies available in each individual case will depend upon the unique facts and circumstances involved.

Q: What if I am facing discipline as retaliation or as a form of discrimination?

If your discipline case involves retaliation or discrimination, you may be able to pursue your case through the MSPB or through the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) process. These cases present a number of unique challenges – including complicated timing requirements – and it will strongly be in your best interests to seek experienced legal representation.

Schedule a Confidential Consultation with a Federal Employment Lawyer

For more information about protecting your rights when facing federal discipline, contact the law offices of Melville Johnson, P.C. for a confidential consultation. With offices in Atlanta, Georgia, we represent federal employees nationwide. To speak with one of our experienced federal employment lawyers about your case, please call (888) 846-7844 or inquire onlinetoday.

Successfully litigated against all federal agencies for 24 years, has brought cases before most circuit courts of appeals, as well as the United States Supreme Court on behalf of federal employees he has represented.