Q & A Session – Difference between Adverse Actions and Disciplinary Actions


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.


Is there a difference between adverse actions and disciplinary actions? Do the Douglas factors apply to both areas?


An adverse action is one that is covered by statute. For example, any suspension, demotion or removal is an adverse action. Some agencies and union contracts distinguish between adverse actions as more serious and disciplinary as more minor. Otherwise, a disciplinary action can include more serious adverse actions and less serious discipline such as a letter of reprisal.

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

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