The disciplinary process in federal human resources is often long and complex. A recent case took a simpler approach.
The author discusses the “table of penalties” often used by HR departments in agencies and explains why he believes it is no longer needed.
A federal employee can sometimes challenge a disciplinary or adverse action through arbitration instead of going to MSPB. That happened in this case and the employee was apparently disappointed when the arbitrator upheld his removal for inappropriate conduct. The employee then went to court to try and get the arbitration decision tossed out but the court found that a table of penalties is a guide and not binding on the agency and he remains fired.