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What is “Conduct Unbecoming of a Federal Employee” in 2021?

If you have been accused of “conduct unbecoming of a federal employee,” you may wonder what that means. The term is intentionally vague to cover the broad actions of federal employees that are not desirable or attractive. This term also can change its meaning over time, as values change. Luckily, our federal employment attorneys explain what is covered under the “conduct unbecoming of a federal employee” umbrella.

What Does It Mean?

Conduct unbecoming of a federal employee is a term used to describe general misconduct performed by a federal employee. This conduct is typically not related to performance, which would result in a performance action, or political conduct, which falls under the Hatch Act. However, the Office of Special Counsel did state that employees may be accused of conduct unbecoming of a federal employee and the Hatch Act for the same action.

What Are Recent Examples of Conduct Unbecoming?

Federal employees could be charged with conduct unbecoming of a federal employee if they failed to follow the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate by the deadline of November 22, 2021. They may also be charged with conduct unbecoming if they lie about their vaccination status or submit a falsified vaccine record. Federal employees may also be subject to suspension or termination of employment for both refusal of vaccination and the submission of a falsified vaccination record.

Federal employees may also be charged with conduct unbecoming if an in-office political debate becomes volatile and results in threats of physical harm, as described by the OSC in their statement on the Hatch Act. With the upcoming midterm elections and increased political divide, federal employees may be subject to increased political messaging but should refrain from participating in arguments.

If You Are Accused of Conduct Unbecoming

If you are accused of Conduct Unbecoming of a Federal Employee, you need to call a trusted federal employment attorney who will advocate for you. Our federal employment attorneys at The Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, PLLC are experienced in negotiating disciplinary actions for those accused of conduct unbecoming of a federal employee.

If you have been charged with conduct unbecoming of a federal employee, call our federal employment lawyers at (202) 759-7780 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.

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