Managing the Federal Employee: Discipline and Performance Process

Target Audience: Executives, Managers, and Supervisors

Length: Two-Day Seminar


“Managing the Federal Employee: Discipline and Performance Process” is our signature course, regularly taught at the Brookings Institution and throughout the country to many agencies in the federal government. Presented in an interactive and entertaining style, we use real-life examples to teach the nuts and bolts of federal personnel law. Our course provides managers and supervisors the tools and strategies needed to handle employee discipline and performance issues, ranging from informal counseling to formal discipline to removal actions with appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). In our seminar, managers and supervisors learn how to defend against Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Whistleblower Retaliation complaints as well as handle medical and disability issues and employee requests for “reasonable accommodation.” Attendees gain an understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities as well as increased confidence in dealing with difficult employees. All course instructors have more than 25 years of experience with the federal government, including serving in key management positions as well as representing federal agencies in administrative hearings before the MSPB and EEOC. 


1. Rights and Responsibilities

  1. Introduction
  2. Supervisor Rights and Responsibilities
  3. Employee Rights and Responsibilities
  4. Requirement to Cooperate

2. Proving a Misconduct Case

  1. The Government’s Three-Part Burden
  2. Detection of Misconduct
  3. Search of the Worksite
  4. Interviewing the Subject/Warnings

3. Taking Disciplinary Actions

  1. Informal Actions – Counseling
  2. The Disciplinary and Adverse Action Process Under Chapter 75
  3. The Douglas Factors
  4. Miscellaneous Disciplinary Issues

4. Errors of Management and Related Issues

  1. Errors of Management
  2. Table of Penalties (Sample)
  3. Disparate Treatment
  4. Lying and Impeding Investigations

5. Discrimination

  1. Anti-Discrimination Laws
  2. Federal EEO Process
  3. Settlement and Retaliation
  4. Hostile Work Environment
  5. Disability and Reasonable Accommodation

6. Taking Performance-Based Actions

  1. Chapter 43 Actions
  2. Chapter 75 Performance Actions
7. Various Issues
  1. Prohibited Personnel Practices
  2. Whistleblower Retaliation
  3. Specific Offenses
  4. Leave Issues