By Deborah Hopkins, September 13, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, I was teaching a class to supervisors on holding employees accountable for performance and conduct. The day after the training ended, I received the following email from an attendee.

Thanks for the excellent presentation on holding employees accountable.  My concern is with the new changes that might be coming from Congress — it seems that there will be little to NO protection for Supervisors, regardless of tenure with the government.

What recourse does a supervisor have IF given a letter of Reprimand, and where can I find information as to the rights of a Supervisor within the Federal government, when I have no union for protection?

And here’s the quite-brief response to that question.

Dear FELTG attendee,

Thanks for the email. Though you’re not in a union, you do have a couple of options if you’d like to challenge the reprimand:

  1. You can file an internal administrative grievance with the agency. This is different from a union grievance in that the internal grievance generally goes to a higher-level official in the agency, instead of to an arbitrator, and of course you don’t have a union to represent you. I haven’t read your internal grievance policy so I don’t know the specific person you file with, but I imagine HR will be helpful in providing you with that info.
  2. You could contact an EEO counselor if you think the reprimand was motivated by your EEO category (age, sex, religion, etc.).
  3. You could contact the US Office of Special Counsel if you meet the definition of a whistleblower.
  4. If you are a veteran and feel you have been mistreated because of your military service, the Department of Labor (or OSC sometimes) can help you out.

And that’s about it. Please let me know if you have any questions at all. Take care. [email protected]

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