Set up a Firing Squad

Bob Gibson posted an article in the April 16, 2012 edition of FedSmith saying that the best way for employers to prevail if challenged by an MSPB Hearing is to set up Firing Squads.

Believe it or not, this is pretty good advice, folks. I’ve seen it in action and it works, provided the organization is fully behind “the Squad” and it’s purpose. “The Squad” helps the organization make a solid business decision while protecting employee rights at the same time! Here’s what Gibson suggests:

“The Squad” should consist of five organizational positions:

These should be the key positions in your organization with responsibility for evaluating and taking personnel actions related to employee misconduct or substandard performance…

  1. An employee/labor relations advisor (from HR);
  2. A trained administrative investigator;
  3. An attorney specializing in employee relations/EEO law;
  4. A permanent proposing official; and
  5. A permanent deciding official.

How “The Squad” Works

  1. The employee’s first and second line supervisor would advise the HR advisor of the incident(s) involved or of their actions so far if performance based.
  2. The advisor would meet with the attorney and proposing official who would decide whether to appoint an investigator to look into the matter.
  3. The investigator is only involved in fact finding according to a strict case file completion process.
  4. The case file goes back to the proposing official who may direct the managers involved to take needed procedural and substantive steps if the case file so indicates.
  5. The case might end here and go no further unless further facts develop or the matter is satisfactorily resolved.
  6. If the case file warrants action, the proposing official, based on the record before him or her, consults with the HR advisor and attorney on next steps.
  7. The proposing official may issue a proposal or authorize a settlement discussion.
  8. If a proposal issues, the employee presents his/her reply to the deciding official.
  9. The deciding official may issue a decision or authorize a settlement discussion.
  10. Absent settlement, the deciding official’s decision becomes final.
  11. The action is taken and the appeal process ensues.

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Doris Tirone

There’s a follow-on article in FedSmith to their provocative article about “MSPB Firing Squads” that renders great information for supervisors who have to address disciplinary issues. Take a look!