government employee

Reacting to Your Performance Case

If you’ve received a performance improvement plan (PIP), here are the factors you should consider in responding to it:

    1. At the beginning of the performance rating period at issue in PIP, did your agency properly place you on objective, relevant, and clear performance standards that were related to the critical performance elements of your position description?
    2. Was your position description also clear and accurate?
    3. Did your agency then provide you a reasonable period of time (at least 90 days) to work and be properly supervised under those written performance standards, in order to demonstrate fully successful or better performance?
    4. Did the agency then notify you in writing that your performance on one or more of the critical elements of your performance standards was “unacceptable?” To what extent to you disagree with that determination?
    5. Did the Agency then place you on a written performance improvement period (PIP) of at least 45 days, with specific goals tied to the critical elements of your performance standards over which you were placed on the PIP due to alleged unacceptable performance?
    6. Was that PIP designed to improve your performance to the fully successful level or better with specific efforts made by your supervisor to help you improve your performance?
    7. Did the agency change the performance standards in the PIP, so that they differed from how they were originally worded at the beginning of the annual rating period? Were those changes more onerous?
    8. Did the agency fulfill its obligations under your PIP?
    9. If you disagree with any of the factors above, respond to the PIP in writing ASAP and provide that written response to your supervisor and second leval supervisor.
    10. After the conclusion of the PIP, did the agency notify you in writing that your performance on the same critical elements over which you were placed on the PIP remained “unacceptable?”
    11. Do you believe your unsatisfactory performance rating and/or PIP constitutes a prohibited personnel practice of EEO discrimination, harassment, and/or whistleblower retaliation?
    12. Has the agency proposed your removal or demotion? If so, rebut each allegation in the proposal with which you disagree.
    13. Hire our Preeminent rated and award-winning Federal Employees Law Firm to represent you in the PIP process.

To learn more about PIP’s, read our blog about common outcomes of a PIP.

Don’t Post Online About Your PIP

While this may seem self-explanatory, you shouldn’t post about your performance case online. Your performance case is a private matter, which only you, your supervisors, the regulatory agency with jurisdiction over your case, and your attorney should discuss. Putting details about the case online can put you in an uncomfortable position, especially at the end of the review period when your performance is assessed in relation to your PIP. Publicizing your PIP case can also lead to retaliatory discipline against you by your agency separate and apart from any proposed adverse action over your alleged unacceptable job performance.

Don’t Share PIP Details With Colleagues

There are some things you don’t share with your coworkers: marital troubles, personal information, your alleged unacceptable performance or misconduct, and PIP details. Sharing details with your colleagues will not only share everything that’s going on in your professional life but can also affect your PIP as your performance status is now well-known around your office. This may create rumors, which then may influence how your PIP is assessed, which can result in a negative outcome.

Keep It Reserved

If you do need to discuss your PIP with someone at work, keep it curt and only discuss it with those who need to know or are involved with your PIP. Try to only discuss your PIP in private, such as in conference rooms, closed offices, and over secure electronic communication to keep your PIP status quiet. Staying reserved about your PIP during the process can ensure that your PIP is completed with as little outside interference as possible.

Federal Employment Attorney

Learning of a performance case against you can be distressing, especially if it may result in the termination of your employment. Our federal employment lawyers at The Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, PLLC are skilled at guiding you through the performance case process and negotiating the best possible outcome for your case.

If a performance case has been opened against you, schedule an initial phone consultation with our federal employment attorneys today by calling us at (202) 350-3881 or contacting us online.