Time is Critical

Recently, our consultants were contacted by clients notified by their respective agencies that the agency was proposing removal from employment.  In all cases, the affected employees (clients) waited to contact a consultant until well after they received the notice of proposed removal and in some cases, even after the deadline to respond to the deciding official had passed.  This is a critical delay by clients and usually results in greater representational costs as well as increased risks at outcomes.

Federal employees who receive a notice of proposed removal must immediately take action, whether hiring a consultant, obtaining union representation, or seeking legal counsel. Typically, employees are provided a minimum of fourteen days, from receipt of notice, to provide a written and/or oral response to the deciding official as part of due process procedures.  Furthermore, the Agency cannot typically effect the proposed action any sooner than thirty-days from the date the employee receives the notice of proposed action. However, this response period may be shortened for cause. For example, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulations at 5 CFR 752.402 permits agencies to place employees on indefinite suspension with a shortened response period of seven days.

Action Items Following Receipt of a Notice of Proposed Adverse Action

  1. Immediately obtain a complete copy of the proposed action notice and evidence file.  The agency is required to provide you with this information.
  2. Immediately obtain a copy of your most recent SF-50 (notice of personnel action) and your appointment SF-50.  These documents can be obtained by request from the Processing and Records section of your local Human Resources department or by accessing your electronic Official Personnel Folder (e-opf).  We actually recommend you download a complete copy of your e-opf because you will no longer have access if you are removed from Federal Service.
  3. Read the agency notice very carefully.  You are required to respond to the Charge(s) and Specification(s).  Be sure you are familiar with them and can discuss them accurately within the context of your involvement.
  4. Contact a consultant at InformedFed by either using this form or calling (202) 642-1287 ( 24/7 ).  Initial consultations are without charge or obligation.  Alternatively, you could contact your local union or legal counsel.  Either way, you need to start the process or otherwise make arrangements to respond to the agency notice accordingly and within the prescribed time limits.

If you elect to retain a consultant, we will ask you to send us all associated documents for an initial analysis.  The preferred method of receiving this information is by e-mail with all the documents in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.  If you do not have scanning capability, many of our clients use Fedex/Kinko’s services.

The most important “take away” is that it is not prudent to wait in seeking assistance in these situations.  It is far better to try to convince a deciding official to not take the proposed action, rather than waiting for him or her to make the decision and then appeal the decision.

 

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Informed Fed provides expert administrative consulting and representational services to federal employees and labor organizations in all labor and employee relations matters including arbitration, grievances, disciplinary and adverse actions,  Unfair Labor Practice Complaints, EEO Complaints, Reasonable Accommodation and Alternative Dispute Resolution matters.
Contact us.  Web: www.InformedFed.com  |  Phone/Text: (202) 642-1287  |  Twitter: @InformedFed  |  Hire a Consultant Here
The material on this website is intended to provide only general information and comment to the public. Although we make our best efforts to ensure information found on this website is accurate and timely, we cannot, and do not, guarantee the information is either. Nor do we guarantee accuracy of any information contained on websites to which our website provide links.  Do not, under any circumstances, rely on information found on our website as legal advice. It should be considered a general guide. Legal matters are often complicated and fact dependent. For assistance with your specific issue or inquiry please contact your local union, personnel office, or attorney. Consultants offered through this website are not attorneys and are not employees of Informed Fed. They are labor and employee relations practitioners. They provide services to clients in their individual capacities through individual agreements with their clients. Though attorneys are not required for representation in administrative matters or proceedings, there are instances in which our consultants may refer you to attorneys or otherwise make such recommendation. In no instance does this site, or consultants associated with this site, infer the provision of legal services.