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 was hired 16 years ago in full time civil service. I worked one position for 3 years, and was placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP). I was not able to meet the terms of the PIP, and instead faced removal. I was fortunate and was reassigned instead.
Twelve years later, I was reassigned back to the same position I was removed from 12 years prior, when I was unable to meet the terms of a PIP.
I am appealing the transfer. I believe being involuntarily reassigned back to a position I was removed from for failing to meet the terms of a PIP is retaliatory and a form of constructive discharge. Do these events violate any merit system principles, Office of Personnel Management practice or policy, or issues previously addressed in case law?
Your recent experience is not a violation of rules. You do, however, describe a senseless and insensitive act that you seem to have done a good job describing to others. Be careful, the common sense you describe is not an effective defense at the MSPB should you face a new PIP. Good luck!
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.
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