U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 27, 2022

§ 752.203 - Procedures.

(a) Statutory entitlements. An employee under this subpart whose suspension is proposed under this subpart is entitled to the procedures provided in 5 U.S.C. 7503(b).

(b) Notice of proposed action. The notice must state the specific reason(s) for the proposed action, and inform the employee of his or her right to review the material which is relied on to support the reasons for action given in the notice. The notice must further include detailed information with respect to any right to appeal the action pursuant to section 1097(b)(2)(A) of Public Law 115-91, the forums in which the employee may file an appeal, and any limitations on the rights of the employee that would apply because of the forum in which the employee decides to file.

(c) Employee's answer. The employee must be given a reasonable time, but not less than 24 hours, to answer orally and in writing and to furnish affidavits and other documentary evidence in support of the answer.

(d) Representation. An employee covered by this subpart is entitled to be represented by an attorney or other representative. An agency may disallow as an employee's representative an individual whose activities as representative would cause a conflict of interest or position, or an employee of the agency whose release from his or her official position would give rise to unreasonable costs or whose priority work assignments preclude his or her release.

(e) Agency decision. (1) In arriving at its decision, the agency will consider only the reasons specified in the notice of proposed action and any answer of the employee or his or her representative, or both, made to a designated official.

(2) The agency must specify in writing the reason(s) for the decision and advise the employee of any grievance rights under paragraph (f) of this section. The agency must deliver the notice of decision to the employee on or before the effective date of the action.

(f) Grievances. The employee may file a grievance through an agency administrative grievance system (if applicable) or, if the suspension falls within the coverage of an applicable negotiated grievance procedure, an employee in an exclusive bargaining unit may file a grievance only under that procedure. Sections 7114(a)(5) and 7121(b)(1)(C) of title 5, U.S. Code, and the terms of any collective bargaining agreement, govern representation for employees in an exclusive bargaining unit who grieve a suspension under this subpart through the negotiated grievance procedure.

(g) Agency records. The agency must maintain copies of, and will furnish to the Merit Systems Protection Board and to the employee upon their request, the following documents:

(1) Notice of the proposed action;

(2) Employee's written reply, if any;

(3) Summary of the employee's oral reply, if any;

(4) Notice of decision; and

(5) Any order effecting the suspension, together with any supporting material.

(h) Settlement agreements. (1) An agency shall not agree to erase, remove, alter, or withhold from another agency any information about a civilian employee's performance or conduct in that employee's official personnel records, including an employee's Official Personnel Folder and Employee Performance File, as part of, or as a condition to, resolving a formal or informal complaint by the employee or settling an administrative challenge to an adverse action.

(2) The requirements described in paragraph (h)(1) of this section should not be construed to prevent agencies from taking corrective action should it come to light, including during or after the issuance of an adverse personnel action that the information contained in a personnel record is not accurate or records an action taken by the agency illegally or in error. In such cases, an agency would have the authority, unilaterally or by agreement, to modify an employee's personnel record(s) to remove inaccurate information or the record of an erroneous or illegal action. An agency may take such action even if an appeal/complaint has been filed relating to the information that the agency determines to be inaccurate or to reflect an action taken illegally or in error. In all events, however, the agency must ensure that it removes only information that the agency itself has determined to be inaccurate or to reflect an action taken illegally or in error. And an agency should report any agreements relating to the removal of such information as part of its annual report to the OPM Director required by Section 6 of E.O. 13839. Documents subject to withdrawal or modification could include, for example, an SF-50 issuing a disciplinary or performance-based action, a decision memorandum accompanying such action or an employee performance appraisal.

(3) Corrective action based on discovery of material information prior to final agency action. When persuasive evidence comes to light prior to the issuance of a final agency decision on an adverse personnel action casting doubt on the validity of the action or the ability of the agency to sustain the action in litigation, an agency may decide to cancel or vacate the proposed action. Additional information may come to light at any stage of the process prior to final agency decision including during an employee response period. To the extent an employee's personnel file or other agency records contain a proposed action that is subsequently cancelled, an agency would have the authority to remove that action from the employee's personnel file or other agency records. The requirements described in paragraph (h)(1) of this section would, however, continue to apply to any accurate information about the employee's conduct leading up to that proposed action or separation from Federal service.

[74 FR 63532, Dec. 4, 2009, as amended at 85 FR 65985, Oct. 16, 2020]