Let’s look at it from another angle: The only time a Deciding Official is required to extend a response period is if a union contract says the employee is entitled to such an extension. Employees often try to get more time to prepare a response, and absent a contractual obligation, the agency is free to deny such a request, as long as the agency complies with the legal minimums (24 hours for a short suspension; 7 days for a long suspension, demotion or removal) or the agency’s policy requirement, if it differs from these timeframes.

In addition, if the response period is extended past the 30-day notice period, the agency is in violation of Executive Order 13939, which directs agencies to not extend the notice period past 30 days. Most federal employees wouldn’t want the President to find out you were violating one of his Executive Orders.

Bottom line: You can allow the employee a few more days to respond if you so choose, but absent the circumstances above, there is no legal requirement to do so.

Have a question? Ask FELTG.

The information presented here is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Contacting FELTG in any way/format does not create the existence of an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

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