Disciplinary Investigations of Federal Employees: What are your rights?

If you are a federal employee and have faced a disciplinary action, adverse action, or a proposal for one of these, you should learn your rights to make sure you are treated fairly throughout the investigation and disciplinary process.

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What causes a disciplinary action?

Disciplinary or adverse actions are responses to a wide range of misconduct, including some actions that are also crimes. An investigation could result from allegations of violence or sexual misconduct, negligence, attendance issues and many other scenarios.

What is a disciplinary or adverse action?

When a federal employee faces discipline in the work place, it can come in the form of a disciplinary action, which is a short suspension or reprimand, or an adverse action, which is more serious, and would include demotions, long suspensions, and removals.

What are my rights during the investigation?

Employees should be interviewed prior to any disciplinary actions taking place. Employees should be given warnings about their rights when they are interviewed. If the investigation is criminal, then the employee should be read the Miranda warnings, which specify your right to remain silent, and your right to an attorney. Even if the investigation is not criminal, the employee should be read warnings about the questioning process that include the employees need to answer, but that truthful answers cannot be used against the employee in the event of a later criminal case.

Proposed disciplinary and adverse action notices

Following an investigation, an employee might receive a proposed disciplinary or adverse action notice. This notice should include the reasons the employee is being disciplined, provide the employee with the right to review the information that was relied on in determining the need for a disciplinary action, and give the employee the opportunity to respond orally or in writing before the disciplinary or adverse action takes place. With the exception of emergency cases, the disciplinary action cannot take place until 30 days after the proposal.

I am facing an investigation or disciplinary action, what can I do?

You should contact an attorney who will be able to aid you in defending against the disciplinary action. An attorney can help you draft a response to the proposed discipline, speak on your behalf, and help develop a strategy to defend against the claims.

Contact Stern Law, PLLC for A Free Consultation

At Stern Law, PLLC, we have compassionate and caring attorneys ready to work with you to find the best solution to your employment law related legal issues. Contact Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529 for a free consolation with an experienced employment attorney.

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