Federal Employee – Personnel Matters

Bramnick Creed represents federal employees in all disciplinary and adverse personnel actions, including suspensions, demotions, and removals. Our attorneys have extensive experience in responding to notices of proposed discipline and negotiating favorable resolutions of proposed disciplinary actions. When negotiations fail and a disciplinary action has been taken, we advocate for federal employees in appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  

Allegations of Misconduct

Federal employees can find themselves faced with a variety of misconduct-related charges. Penalties may include reprimand, suspension, reduction in pay, reduction in grade, and even removal. Federal employees facing misconduct charges have a right to respond to the charges and defend their reputation and career. Bramnick Creed represents employees in internal investigations of alleged misconduct, responding to proposed disciplinary action, and appeals of disciplinary action.

Performance Improvement Plans

Federal agencies can place employees on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), sometimes referred to as a Performance Assistance Plan (PAP) or Opportunity to Improve Plan (OIP). A PIP is often the first step toward performance-related discipline. It is important that any federal employee facing a PIP understand the serious nature and potential implications of this process. The attorneys at Bramnick Creed advise employees who are facing a PIP and assist them in responding to the PIP and preparing to respond to any performance-related disciplinary action.

Notices of Proposed Discipline

Federal employees have an important due process right to notice and an opportunity to be heard. Before a federal agency may take disciplinary action against an employee, it must first give the employee notice of the proposed discipline and an opportunity to respond. This means the employee gets a chance to respond to the charges in writing and speak directly to the deciding official before the agency takes any disciplinary action.

Responding to a notice of proposed discipline is a critically-important process in which an employee has a real chance to avoid or lessen the proposed discipline before any action is taken. The attorneys of Bramnick Creed have extensive experience in this area and have successfully represented numerous federal employees in responding to notices of proposed discipline.

Appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)

In most cases, if a federal agency takes adverse action against an employee, the employee has a right to appeal the action to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Adverse actions include suspensions of greater than 14 days, reductions in pay, reductions in grade, and removals.

The MSPB’s procedural rules and requirements can be confusing and daunting to employees who are not represented by an attorney. The MSPB process involves initial filings, such as a statement of affirmative defenses; discovery, including written discovery and depositions; motions; and a trial, known as an administrative hearing.

The attorneys at Bramnick Creed have the knowledge and experience to assist employees in navigating the MSPB appeal process. They also have a distinct advantage in that they are experienced trial lawyers. While they seek to achieve an amicable resolution in every case if possible, they have the experience and skillset to take any case to trial.

For more information about how Bramnick Creed assists federal employees in personnel and disciplinary matters or for a consultation, contact Joe Creed at (301) 760-3344 or JCreed@BramnickCreed.com.