Protecting Your Career: What to Do If You Received a PIP

What Is a PIP & Why Do They Matter?

Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) are issued to federal employees who are not meeting required performance standards. The contents of a PIP will vary depending on the agency and the employee’s role within that agency. PIPs provide federal employees with an opportunity to improve their performance before the agency takes adverse action.

Review our website to learn what must be included in a PIP.

Though PIPs are posited as a mechanism to help federal employees course-correct, they most often result in adverse actions, such as job reassignment, demotion, or termination. Consequently, complying with a PIP or proactively working to avoid being issued a PIP is crucial in protecting your career.

Should You Seek Legal Counsel If You’ve Been Given a PIP?

Being put on a performance improvement plan or receiving a negative performance review is incredibly stressful, and you may fear for your career. It can be even more nerve-wracking if the allegations associated with your PIP or performance review are unfair or inaccurate. What can you do? Your first step should be to consult with an experienced federal employment law attorney.

The benefits of working with an attorney include the following:

  • Gaining a clear understanding of your situation
  • Learning all your legal options
  • Guidance from an experienced legal professional throughout the process
  • Help with completing and filing any necessary legal documents or proceeding with an MSPB appeal should that be necessary

It may also be a good idea to reach out to legal counsel even before you’ve received a PIP. For example, if you’ve had an unfavorable performance review or suspect that you will be put on a PIP, it may be worth speaking with an attorney. Taking proactive action can make a major difference in the outcome of your PIP (should you be put on one) and can help you protect your career.

How to Choose a Federal Employment Law Attorney

Dealing with a PIP or other performance-based action can be difficult, but securing an attorney doesn’t have to be. Ultimately, you want to find representation that can handle your case and whom you feel confident in. To help you with this process, we’ve listed a few key elements to look for when selecting a federal employment law attorney. Remember, when your career is on the line, you want an attorney that takes your case seriously and can give you the dedicated attention you need.

What to look for in an attorney:

  • Extensive experience representing federal employees
  • Comprehensive legal services, including PIP-related representation
  • Specific experience handling performance-based adverse action and MSPB appeals cases
  • The capacity and resources to handle your case

At John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorney at Law, PLLC, we understand what you are up against. With 30 years of experience representing federal employees in all types of cases, we can help you deal with any PIP or performance-based adverse action issue you may have. We have successfully represented thousands of clients and are well-known for our compassionate yet strong advocacy. Not only does our law firm serve clients in Washington, D.C., but we can also handle cases for federal employees working nationwide and around the world. When you need us, we are just a phone call away.

For help from an award-winning law firm, send us a message online.