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A Government Employee PIP: Omen of Removal or Room for Improvement?

Receiving a federal employee Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) can be daunting: PIPs nearly always result in an unfavorable outcome for the employee. Unfortunately, PIPs are used as prerequisites for employee removal or reassignment following a period of subpar performance. Our federal employment attorneys explain what you need to know about a PIP and how to fight a PIP.

What is a PIP?

A performance improvement plan is an assessment given by an employer to explain the employee’s poor performance and grant them an opportunity to improve. No two PIPs are the same as they depend on the employee’s position, agency, and role responsibilities; however, a PIP must include the following:

  • At least one reason for a poor performance rating
  • Observations of performance deficiencies
  • An outline including all requirements for the employee to achieve a positive rating
  • Standards of the evaluation
  • Offers of training or guidance from management
  • The duration of the PIP
  • Consequences of failing to meet standards of the PIP

With the included information, the employee will know the reason for the PIP, how to improve, and the consequences of failing to meet the PIP’s standards.

Common Outcomes of a PIP

Common outcomes of receiving a PIP and failing to meet the PIP’s standards often include unfavorable results. Unfavorable results include termination of employment, demotion, or reassignment. However, a small number of federal employees who receive PIPs can meet the standards of the plan and retain their position without punishment.

What To Do If You Receive a PIP

If you receive a PIP, you should first contact a trusted federal employment attorney. At your consultation with your attorney, you should bring a copy of your PIP to discuss. Together, you and your attorney will create a plan of action so that you can address the allegations of your poor performance.

If you are a federal employee and have received a performance improvement plan, call our federal employment attorneys today to discuss your PIP and course of action. Contact us online or call us at (202) 759-7780 to schedule your consultation.

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