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What Is The Best Way To Respond To A Proposed Disciplinary Action?

When federal employees face a proposed disciplinary action, it can be complicated and intimidating. It is important for the employee to understand their rights and the process they should take to dispute the action, so as to best protect their federal career.

Our top-rated, award-winning federal employment attorneys share how you can best respond to a proposed disciplinary action.

Retain A Federal Employment Attorney

When facing a proposed disciplinary action, the stakes are high, and your career can be at risk. It is essential to retain an experienced federal employment attorney immediately. A skilled attorney can provide guidance and representation throughout the process and advise you on your best options to protect your federal career.

While this might be your first time facing disciplinary actions, your attorney will understand the entire process and can provide an invaluable resource as you navigate it.

Review The Proposed Disciplinary Action

After reviewing the proposed disciplinary action, immediately consult with and engage a qualified and experienced federal employment law attorney to consult with and represent you. It is crucial to identify any mistakes that may have been made by the agency in processing and proposing the disciplinary action and how best to exploit those errors to defeat the proposed action. You and your attorney should then determine your truthful and complete responses to the charges of misconduct and the specifications of those charges alleged in the proposed disciplinary action notice. You and your attorney also need to analyze any circumstances surrounding the alleged misconduct to determine whether the disciplinary penalty proposed by your agency should be mitigated to something less severe. Finally, if you believe the proposed disciplinary action constitutes a prohibited personnel practice in violation of 5 U.S.C. § 2302(b), you should explain the proof you possess to so conclude. All that evidence, along with your detailed background as a federal employee, any great performance and/or awards, and any evidence of any harmful procedural errors surrounding the proposed disciplinary action should all be evidenced and argued to the agency's deciding official in both your oral and written replies.

Research Your Rights And The Appeal Process

In addition to consulting with and engaging a federal employment lawyer to represent you, you should research the disciplinary process and understand the basics of the proposed disciplinary action process. Having a good foundation of understanding can help you prepare to present your oral and written replies to the agency's designated deciding official on its proposed disciplinary action, and for any complaints or grievance rights you might have and instill some confidence in you as you meet with your attorney for matters regarding your case. It is essential to understand the type of disciplinary action proposed, what evidence supports it, and the process for replying to and appealing it.

Your attorney can help you determine whether and how to dispute the proposed disciplinary action and how best to do so. This can include helping you craft a compelling argument that proves your innocence or providing evidence of mitigating circumstances in an attempt to reduce the penalty proposed by your agency.

Defending Your Rights & Your Career

If the disciplinary action is unjust or violates your rights as a federal employee, you should take the necessary steps to file an applicable complaint or grievance over any unjust resulting decision on it from your agency. An experienced federal employment attorney can help you build a strong case and defend your rights throughout the reply and appeals process.

At The Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, PLLC, our top-rated, award-winning federal employment attorneys offer the experience and knowledge necessary to help you navigate this complex process successfully. We understand your career's importance and are dedicated to helping you protect your federal employment. Call our firm at (202) 350-3881 today to request an initial phone consultation with a member of our team.