Q&A: Under What Circumstances is a PIP Not Warranted?


Q: I believe I read somewhere that the Agency cannot place a federal employee on a PIP based on the evaluation/rating of a supervisor who is no longer an employee of the agency. Is this correct?

A: There are no laws or regulations precluding an agency from relying on a performance rating issued by a supervisor who has left the agency. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) only requires that the employee be under an established set of performance elements and standards for a given appraisal period, and that a supervisor have the necessary information to rate the employee. Government-wide regulations do not specify an amount of time a supervisor must be on the job actually supervising the employee before that supervisor may rate the employee.

However, some agencies’ performance appraisal programs require that a supervisor be on the job and actually supervise the employee for some particular minimum amount of time before the supervisor may rate the employee, and that in the event the supervisor has not been on the job long enough to rate the employee, the supervisor is required to obtain input from a prior supervisor when completing the employee’s rating. Therefore, you should review your agency’s performance appraisal programs to determine whether your agency has such a time requirement, and whether your current supervisor was required to obtain input for your rating from your prior supervisor.

For more information about government-wide regulations for performance management, I encourage you to visit OPM’s website: OPM Performance Management.

This response was written by Christopher J. Keeven, associate attorney at Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C., a federal employment law firm.

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Shaw Bransford & Roth

Shaw Bransford & Roth provides legal representation on a wide range of employment and federal employment law issues. For more information visit us at: http://www.shawbransford.com

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