SOFTENING SUSPENSIONS

In 1994 MSPB announced that when it had the power to impose adverse action agencies were required to have an employee serve his/her suspension on consecutive days, rather than let the employer serve a few days of a long suspension each pay period until the total suspension was fulfilled. Unfortunately, too many union negotiators overreacted and concluded that they had no choice but to accept sequential day suspensions. They were most likely wrong.

A proposal requiring management to spread a multi-day suspension over one or more pay periods appears to conflict with nothing.  It does not prevent management from disciplining the employee and it arguably is an element of a penalty that could be considered under the Douglas mitigation factors.

The rule against suspensions being spread over non-consecutive days only applies to MSPB ordered suspensions, typically initiated by a Special Counsel complaint. Where the employing agency has the power to set the penalty, unions can bargain to soften the impact.

About AdminUN

FEDSMILL staff has over 40 years of federal sector labor relations experience on the union as well as management side of the table and even some time as a neutral.
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