When things are not going well for you in your place of employment as a federal worker, you might not know about it right away. Instead of straight up telling employees that they are not doing well, or that they are doing something that is displeasing others, the common trend has become to use a Performance Improvement Plan, or a PIP, as they are typically called. If you got handed a PIP from your boss, then you might be hopeful that they just want you to improve your work performance, but you need to look at the PIP beyond its surface value.
A PIP is not actually a friendly reminder to start improving in your job as a federal employee. It is almost certainly the first step your boss’s plan to try to penalize you, either through demotion, reassignment, or termination. Think of it from another angle: If your boss, supervisor, or employer really wanted you to improve, then they would probably do so by sitting down with you, discussing the situation, and coming up with an improvement plan with you. Being given a PIP that was created without your input is not the same thing for a reason.
What Should You Do When Handed a PIP?
Knowing that a PIP is a bit like a wolf in sheep’s clothing in the employment world, what should you do if your boss hands you one? The first step is reviewing your PIP closely. Employment regulations require your PIP to be specific regarding why it was issued in the first place, how improvement will be measured, and what you can do to meet those measurements. It should also tell you what will happen if you meet the set measurements, and what can happen if you do not.
Next, you should do everything you can to meet those measurements and reach at least the minimum requirements for a positive PIP conclusion. Start out by contacting an attorney, who can take a second look at your PIP. It is crucial to ensure that your PIP is setting guidelines and expectations that are feasible, instead of being designed to make you fail. Additionally, if you meet the requirements of your PIP but your boss still wants to penalize or fire you, then you will need an attorney on your side to stand up for your rights.
To get a trusted team of attorneys on your side, call (202) 759-7780 as soon as you can after being given a PIP. You will connect with John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law in Washington D.C. Our law firm has been built to stand up for federal employees who have been mistreated or discriminated against by their employers. We would be happy to help you understand your PIP and what you should do next. Begin by scheduling your consultation today.