An adverse action is generally used to describe an action that is appealable to the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB). Adverse actions are usually referring to removals, suspensions for more than 14 days (including indefinite suspension), reduction in grade or pay, and furlough for 30 days or less. These actions are subject to the statutory/regulatory appeals process as outlined in 5 United States Code (USC) and 5 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
Cause for Taking Disciplinary and Adverse Actions
Management may only take disciplinary and adverse actions for such cause as will promote the efficiency of the service; therefore, it is important that the cause for a disciplinary or adverse action is specified in the proposed and decision notices.
In general, disciplinary or adverse action is taken when an employee has done something or failed to do something which adversely affects his/her work, the ability of others to do their work, or the agency's mission. In determining the appropriate corrective action, the supervisor must decide whether the incident/situation involves the employee's poor job performance or an act of misconduct. Normally, it is one or the other, but in some cases it could be both. Next, the supervisor must decide what type of management action will best address the situation/incident.
Performance Based Actions
In general, if the basis of the action concerns poor performance, actions may be taken under Performance Management in accordance with procedures outlined in 5 CFR Part 432. See below links to guides on dealing with poor performance. Performance based actions could result in a reassignment, reduction in grade and/or pay or removal from Federal service.
If the basis of the action concerns misconduct, (e.g., tardiness, falsification of travel vouchers, misuse of government property, failure to properly request leave), the supervisor may take a disciplinary action in accordance with procedures outlined in 5 CFR Part 752 to correct the employee's behavior. Depending on the severity of the misconduct, disciplinary actions can range from a letter of warning to a suspension without pay or even removal from Federal service.
Note - There may be instances where the problems are both performance and conduct; therefore, supervisors should contact the servicing CPAC for guidance on what procedures to take for addressing the problem.