Types of Action

There are two paths to removing a federal employee: Chapters 43 and 75 of Title 5 in the Code of Federal Regulations. Chapter 43 applies to demotions and removals for performance only; Chapter 75 covers suspensions, demotions and removals for both performance and conduct.

Managers pursuing a performance-based action have a choice between the two processes. Chapter 43 must be based on formal performance standards and it provides an "opportunity period" before the action is final. Chapter 75 allows for immediate action and can be based on more general expectations. Chapter 75, however, requires a higher standard of proof. Chapter 75 decisions can be upheld, mitigated or overturned during the appeals process, whereas Chapter 43 actions can only be upheld or overturned.

Employees can fight terminations several ways. They can appeal the decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board or file a discrimination complaint. Employees covered by a bargaining unit can pursue an appeal through the union. Employees also can file whistleblower complaints with the Office of Special Counsel, which MSPB would adjudicate.

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