Q & A Session – Signing a 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.


I have worked for the federal government for 28 years with 15 at my current agency. My current agency wants to put me on a Performance Improvement Plan, but I have decided to take deferred retirement. I have not signed the PIP and sent it back. Since I am retiring, do I have to sign the PIP? If I don’t, what could the agency do to me if anything?


You do not have to sign the PIP for it to be in effect. If, at the end of your PIP, the agency believes your performance to be unacceptable, it may propose your removal. You do have the right to challenge that proposal and appeal an adverse decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board, but under a standard of evidence very favorable to your agency.

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

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