Federal Employee Investigations & Discipline Solely Focused on Federal Employment Law

Tampa Federal Employee Disciplinary Action Defense Attorney

Helping Federal Employees Protect and Enforce Their Rights in Disciplinary Investigations

Being accused of misconduct as a federal employee is a serious matter with potentially long-term consequences. Even a seemingly minor infraction can permanently impact your professional reputation and career, including your ability to negotiate higher compensation, move between agencies, or secure new positions. Disciplinary or adverse actions taken against you can even follow you to the private sector, as these violations will appear on your Official Personnel File (OPF) indefinitely.

It is important that you understand and enforce your rights when you learn that you are the subject of an employment investigation or have been notified of a proposed adverse or disciplinary action. Our Legal Lion Employment Law Firm federal employee disciplinary action defense attorney at our Tampa Bay Area location can represent you when you are accused of misconduct or inadequate work performance. Our team is committed to protecting your career and can help you build a defense strategy that will prevent disciplinary or adverse actions from being proposed or taking effect.

Understanding Your Rights in a Federal Employee Investigation

In most cases, you will have some advanced warning that a federal agency is considering proposing adverse or disciplinary actions. When agency officials believe that you are responsible for some misconduct or have displayed inadequate work performance, they will typically conduct an investigation that will serve as the basis for their proposal.

An agency’s investigation will generally involve the gathering of documentation and evidence as well as interviewing anyone relevant to the case. You may be asked to participate in an interview, and it is critical that you understand your rights when doing so.

  • If the allegations being invested are criminal in nature, you must be provided with your Miranda rights. In essence, this means you must be warned that anything you elect to say in an interview can and will be used against you in a criminal proceeding. You also have the crucial right to remain silent.
  • If you are read your Miranda rights ahead of a requested interview, you should exercise your right to remain silent and immediately request the presence of legal representation. Agents may attempt to compel or persuade you to speak, but you should avoid making any statements until a lawyer can advise you.
  • If an investigation is only administrative in nature and does not currently involve criminal allegations, you will instead receive a Garrity/Kalkines warning. These inform you that you must truthfully answer all questions asked by federal investigators. It also does not give you the right to remain silent, and a refusal to answer questions could result in disciplinary action.

No matter what warnings you are read, you have a right to legal representation if you learn you are part of a federal agency investigation. If you are confused about what rules you are operating under, you have a right to ask the investigating agent to clarify your rights and whether you are obligated to speak.

Contact our Federal Employee Disciplinary Action Defense Attorney Today!

We understand how frightening a federal investigation can be. You do not have to face this process alone: Our federal employment attorneys are prepared to give you the immediate support and guidance that you need. We will work to defend your work record during the investigation phase and do everything possible to prevent proposed disciplinary or adverse actions.

We can give you the legal support you need when you are the subject of a disciplinary investigation. Call (813) 437-4447 or contact us online to speak to a member of our team today.

Preparing a Response to a Proposed Disciplinary or Adverse Action

If an investigation results in a federal agency deciding you are responsible for some form of misconduct, they will issue an advanced notice of proposed disciplinary or adverse actions. Agencies are required to give you sufficient notice to review and respond to the allegations and evidence.

If you receive a notice of proposed disciplinary or adverse action, you should immediately explore hiring qualified legal representation to assist with your case. We can aggressively represent you and will do everything we can to prevent proposed actions from taking effect.

Disciplinary actions are less harsh and include suspensions of 14 days or fewer or a letter of reprimand. These infractions will nonetheless still appear on your OPF permanently and thus should be taken extremely seriously. Adverse actions involve suspensions of more than 14 days, demotions, or terminations.

Whether you are charged with an adverse or disciplinary action, you have the right to request all of the evidence the investigating agency used in deciding to propose the action. You will then have the right to mount both an oral and written defense.

Never prepare a formal response to proposed disciplinary or adverse actions without professional legal guidance. Your response will serve as the basis for your defense and may also be reviewed in any ensuing appeals. Our legal team can help you prepare your response and strategize on how to best frame your case.

Once the agency has reviewed your response, they will issue an explanation of their final decision. This could result in a proposed disciplinary or adverse action being abandoned, the action being reduced or changed, or the original action taking effect.

Appealing Adverse or Disciplinary Actions

You still have legal options should you receive an unfavorable decision. The infraction will be reflected on your OPF and can have long-lasting negative consequences for your career and reputation, so it is important to consider all of your legal options. Depending on the nature of the complaint, disciplinary or adverse actions of any kind can typically be appealed through a grievance process, the MSPB, or the EEOC.

More serious adverse actions can be challenged through the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). If the agency agrees to hear the appeal, you will have the ability to partake in a discovery process and secure any additional evidence that might be relevant to the case. The appeal will then be heard by an MSPB judge. Should this appeal not result in a favorable decision, we can assist in further appeals to the full MSPB or even the United States Federal Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.

In addition to helping you remove adverse and disciplinary actions from your official record, successful appeals in some cases can entitle you to compensation. Reversals of disciplinary or adverse actions involving suspensions without pay, demotions, or terminations can result in the recovery of back pay and benefits, restoration of your position, and reimbursements for legal fees.

Our federal employment attorneys at Legal Lion Employment Law Firm can help you understand and assert your legal rights throughout the investigation, disciplinary, and appeals processes. We are compassionate to how stressful and terrifying it can be to learn you are under investigation. Our team has a full understanding of federal employment law and will do everything possible to ensure that your rights and career are protected.

If you need immediate assistance, we are available outside of business hours. Schedule a free initial consultation with our team by contacting us online or calling (813) 437-4447.

Why Clients Continue to Choose Us

  • Direct Legal Access

    Clients will interact with our attorneys directly instead of office staff and paralegals.

  • Free Consultations

    Free Consultations are available for every situation without time restraints.

  • Cost Effective

    We keep costs low and effective for all of our clients. It is more important for us to help federal employees in need of guidance and advice.

  • Available Outside Business Hours

    We make ourselves available outside of business hours upon request.  

The Intricacies of Federal Employment Law Are Vast & Complex

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