Q & A Session – Neglect of Duty


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.


Under what circumstances should a manager be charged with Neglect of Duty by a subordinate? 


Federal managers may not be held vicariously liable for the actions of subordinate employees, however, the SMPB has held that a manager may be liable if he or she “actually directed [the misconduct]or had knowledge of and acquiesced in the misconduct.” For the MSPB’s discussion of liability in those instances, see Miller V. Dep’t of Health and Human Services 8MSPR249 (1981). 

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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