Be clear, terse, and apologetic. On (DATE), you were scheduled to report to work at (TIME). affidavits, performance ratings, SF-50s, letters of commendation) for the record. We argue this factor, in most cases, to attempt to reduce a proposed removal to a lower form of disciplinary action. the adequacy and effectiveness of alternative sanctions to deter such conduct in the future by the employee or others. What is effect of the misconduct charged? <> A supervisor cannot just say it; he/she has to prove it. (See Attachment 1 -Your statement of (DATE) and Attachment 2- Statement of your immediate supervisor of (DATE)). Important things to consider for this factor are how long you have been employed by the federal government generally, and your agency specifically (if you were previously in the armed forces or worked for another civilian agency). If not, include delivery confirmation by the postal or delivery service. 2012) (internal citations and punctuation omitted). Generally, this factor comes into play when an employees alleged misconduct has been reported by the media (press or television). While some federal agencies attempt to use this Douglas factor in an effort to attempt to increase a federal employees disciplinary penalty, we have found that this factor is extremely helpful for purposes of a reduction in the employees penalty. The notoriety of the offense or its impact upon the reputation of the Agency; 9 . It is important to note a case was recently lost in another government agency when the deciding official stated the Agency's zero tolerance policy on workplace violence required him to remove the employee from governmental service. However, a thorough investigation and evaluation may lead to a determination that the misconduct was not substantially similar. Only relevant factors must be included. However, an employee with no prior disciplinary record, good prior performance and job dedication would probably have good potential for rehabilitation. You have the right to reply to this proposal orally and/or in writing and furnish any evidence in support of your reply within fifteen (15) calendar days after the date you receive this proposal. Factor: Consistency with table of penalties 2. Your job as an employee is to support your position as best as you possibly can. The Federal Starr is a publication by Starr Wright USA. <> For instance, we have argued that instead of removing a federal employee that they should instead receive a suspension. Leverage the Douglas Factors properly at your Oral Reply, and you may avoid a costly MSPB Case Later. (Use sample 1). Relevant? Ultimately, managers are people too. This factor is one of the least significant of the Douglas Factors and is usually considered as aggravating. What kind of recovery can I get in my discrimination case? In some instances this may mean pointing out points of analysis or facts to management if they are unaware. Spending the money upfront on representation at your oral-reply,could save you from spending thousands of dollars fighting your case at the Merit Systems Protection Board. See, e.g., Semans v. Department of the Interior, 62 M.S.P.R. Generally, the ranges of penalties are fairly broad (e.g., Letter of Reprimand to Proposed Removal). If you are a unionized employee, typically someone in your bargaining unit will help you argue your case to management at your oral reply. 280 (1981) These factors are used to explain why the penalty was chosen. hbbd``b`:$ Hd V$D? Private sector cases are drastically different. The reason(s) for this action is (are) specified below. If, for example, management had sent a memo to all employees explaining the rules and potential discipline for the personal use ofoffice supplies and then two weeks later your took three reams of paper and a stapler home with you, management would have a strong argument that you were on notice and still engaged in the misconduct. Additionally, you have the right to pick a representative of your choosing should you not have union assistance available to you, or you wish to hire a different a representative. Many federal agencies maintain tables of penalties that detail discipline options for common offenses. Reston, VA 20190. Federal agencies may take disciplinary action against employees who engage in misconduct. If you can make a strong enough case the Administrative Judge (AJ) may modify or cancel the discipline in your case. For the employee, how you articulate and present the facts of yourcase greatly affect how management applies the Douglas Factors. Relevant? Typically, this factor is used by an agency to support an increase in the proposed disciplinary penalty. Postal Service, 634 F.3d 1274, 1282 (Fed. The first factor looks at the severity of the misconduct and how itrelates to the position the employee has. Generally, this argument is used by a federal employee to support a reduction in penalty based on their good record of service to their agency (e.g. Consistency of the penalty is shorthand for: is the action we are taking in your case the same or similar to other cases with similar facts. Postal Service, 634 F.3d 1274, 1279 (Fed. Once an employee has a disciplinary record, its harder to defend against new charges of misconduct and more difficult to argue that a mitigated penalty is deserved. Contact your employee relations advisor to get the information to fill in the blanks. These factors are collectively known as the Douglas factors for the case that articulated them and they are still in use today. consistency of the penalty with any applicable agency table of penalties; (8) the notoriety of the offense or its impact upon the . 10 Ward v. U.S. %PDF-1.6 % accruing multiple instances of discipline can lead you on the fast track to removal from federal service. In every discipline case there are going to be facts that likely hit on a specific Douglas Factor and really cut against the employee. Note: If the employee is in a bargaining unit, your Agency should have alternate language for these paragraphs. For example, one could argue that given the lack of prior discipline that a proposed removal should be mitigated to a suspension action. The national media picked the story up, and it was very detrimental to the agency. Under the sixth Factor, the workers should receive similar penalties, rather than one getting fired and one receiving a written warning. And even if the circumstances surrounding the misconduct incident may be substantially similar, the penalty imposed may be different based upon an independent evaluation of the other Douglas Factors. Douglas factor issues vary significantly from case to case and federal employees should consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable about these issues prior to responding to a proposed disciplinary action or filing an appeal with the MSPB. An official website of the United States government. <>/ExtGState<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text/ImageB/ImageC/ImageI] >>/Annots[ 15 0 R 16 0 R 17 0 R 18 0 R 19 0 R 20 0 R 21 0 R 22 0 R 23 0 R 24 0 R 25 0 R 26 0 R 27 0 R 28 0 R 34 0 R 35 0 R 36 0 R] /MediaBox[ 0 0 612 792] /Contents 4 0 R/Group<>/Tabs/S/StructParents 0>> This Douglas factor tends to be a general mitigation factor that can incorporate many different types of arguments for mitigating a penalty. Reviewing thesetwelve factors in a vacuum is not useful to you as an employee, or tomanagers who are trying to make a decision about a specific disciplinarycase. 1349(b) requires a suspension of not less than one month for the use of a Government vehicle for other than an official purpose, and the appellants actions were closely analogous, it would be inappropriate for the Board to scrutinize whether the agencys penalty of a 30-day suspension was warranted). For example, if an employee has no past disciplinary record, factor #3 doesnt hurt the employee, and can actually become a mitigating factor. 5'@ (Vl]\W[w:R`u>l/;EVj@n~: `;)v O Qf$CA| )cPp0cP?l1#`:}6X93q/r@ Oc2H))!Y6I $ (P The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely. Your unauthorized absence cannot be tolerated because Agency supervisors, managers must be able to plan your work and rely on you to be available. 2011); Stone v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 179 F.3d 1368, 1377 (Fed. For example, an allegation of dishonesty would be treated more seriously, under this Douglas factor, for a federal employee that holds a law enforcement position. In particular, the lack of clarity argument refers to the rules governing the underlying allegations at issue. If employees have access to regulations surrounding an offense, managers have a stronger case for imposing discipline when those rules are broken. Explanation, if relevant: (8) The notoriety of the offense or its impact upon the reputation of the agency. After reading this guide, if you want to read further on the topic of federal employee discipline, you mayfind our guide toMSPB and discipline cases helpful. Cir. Breaking an obscure rule will be viewed less harshly than breaking one that is well publicized, and particularly one on which the employee was given specific notice. Any personal issues going on around the time of the misconduct should be brought to the attention of management. On occasion, we have found that the agency has not followed their table of penalties or has listed the misconduct under the wrong offense in their table. Negligent or accidental incidents will be viewed more favorably than intentional acts. Your unauthorized absence required other employees to be responsible for accomplishing your work on the days you were absence. Note. 280 (1981) These factors are used to explain why the penalty was chosen. The idea is that discipline is meantto be corrective and progressive. The Douglas factors are: (1) The nature and seriousness of the offense, and its relation to the employee's duties, position, and responsibilities, including whether the offense was intentional or technical or inadvertent, or was committed maliciously or for gain, or was frequently repeated; If you are low level employee with no supervisory functions this factor should have some mitigating value. The Douglas factors originate from the case of Douglas v. VA, 5 MSPR 280, 5 MSPB 313 (1981). Yes___ No____If the particular offense at issue is not in the guide, you should review the guide for similar, related offenses. COPYRIGHT 2023. In that case, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) set forth 12 factors that should be considered when evaluating the reasonableness of a disciplinary penalty for a federal employee. what extent, the "Douglas" factors come into play or how egregious the act was. 6 Norris v. Securities and Exchange Commission, 675 F.3d 1349, 1355 (Fed. Sample: Your unauthorized absence(s) violates (Name of Agency) policy (Identify by name, number and date) specifically Section (Number) at Page (Number) which states: (Extract the language of the policy). In some instances the money they saved you may be less than their fee for taking your casea great result for you the employee. Deciding officials should do a Douglas analysis in every case, except when Congress . The following relevant factors must be considered in determining the severity of the discipline: (1) The nature and seriousness of the offense, and its relation to the employee's . Managers must also consider the scope of the misconduct in the context of an employees position and job duties. rDA(dCpY0!G8#rDA(9un\##HH_|?;y.?yA>1i|e,Q}ptWS8?/Gz \|Y,y#}|\G|u|.;HWO)58rHY.+ry9$~]BJNwn;`L\RU=TDrwumX=XDjuh:bIvMQg:u?*:qKK~#q!?). For instance, two co-workers with the same job duties and similar work histories both fall asleep during a night shift. This Douglas factor is important and we use this argument in our representation of federal employees. Deviation from the guide is allowed but going beyond or outside the penalty recommended in the table will be closely scrutinized. Merit Systems Protection Board, Why Federal Employees Have the Right to a Hearing, Implementing or Challenging Initial Decisions, Agency Officials Substantive and Procedural Errors and How to Fix Them. This Douglas factor generally involves how much the public has been advised of a federal employees alleged misconduct. Therefore, I am proposing your removal from the Federal service to promote the efficiency of the service. A manager is much more likely to mitigate the discipline of an employee who admits wrongdoing but is honest and apologetic then they will foran employee who tries to deny misconduct and appears dishonest or unapologetic. stream For instance, if a mental health issue or addiction caused problems on the job but the employee has since sought out effective treatment that may be an acceptable alternative. Generally, however, this Douglas factor is argued for the purposes of arguing for a less severe penalty. h[M+}LX,? Additionally statements from managers or co-workers as to your ability and integrity will be helpful. We generally find that it is important to actually make sure that a proposed disciplinary action or a sustained final penalty has been listed appropriately under the agencys table of penalties. 11700 Plaza America Drive If an employees misconduct generates publicity and negative attention to an agency or otherwise damages its reputation, expect a more severe penalty. The potential for an employees rehabilitation is an important Douglas factor for a federal employee, especially in cases of proposed removal. Yes___ No____How well informed an employee was of the rule that was violated is a factor that may have to be considered in determining the penalty. If you follow this guide, and focus on the factors that support your position, and provide credible evidence in support of your points, you will have gone a long way towards lowering the amountdiscipline you will receive. If you are a federal employee facing discipline, asyou read this articleyou should be thinking about the which of the twelve Douglas Factors are in your favor, and how you can present evidence to support your position on those factors. The employee's job level and type of employment . EAP can be reached by calling 1-800-XXX-XXXX. In short: if youre facing removal leveraging the 12 Douglas Factors the right way could save your job. 3 Douglas v. Veterans Administration, 5 M.S.P.R. The Douglas Factors . 6.Further Charges and Specifications: Repeat above format 7.Efficiency of the Service Rationale Paragraph(s): This paragraph typically includes the answers to the following questions: What rule(s) was (were) violated? One way to sway this factor in favor of an employee is to be contrite apologetic and to admit the misconduct you engaged in. bad time trio simulator unblocked, lafitte's hurricane recipe,
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