Q&A Session – Personnel Action Based on PIP


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


Please provide me with the legal authority by which a personnel action can be authorized and issued for an employee who fails a PIP, is fired for poor performance and opts for a discontinued service or early retirement.


The problem with an answer to your question is there is no specific legal authority. It used to be contained in the old federal personnel manual. The best I can do is a reference to 5 U.S.C. § 8336 (d)(1) and 5 U.S.C. § 8414 (b)(1) authorizes discontinued service retirement if an employee is separated involuntarily for reason other than misconduct or delinquency. OPM does not consider removal based on unacceptable performance or 5 U.S.C chapter 43 to be misconduct or delinquency.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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