Editorial Notes

2022—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 117–263 struck out “decide to” after “The Secretary may” and inserted before period at end “, including upon receiving notification from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security that such member has engaged in criminal misconduct, such as murder, rape, or other sexual assault”.

2021—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 117–81, § 5317(1), substituted “indefinitely suspend without duties” for “suspend” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c)(5), (6). Pub. L. 117–81, § 5317(3), added pars. (5) and (6). Former par. (5) redesignated (7).

Subsec. (c)(7). Pub. L. 117–81, § 5317(2), (4), redesignated par. (5) as (7), struck out subpar. (A) designation before “The term”, substituted “this subsection, the term” for “this subsection: The term”, redesignated cls. (i) and (ii) as subpars. (A) and (B), realigned margins, and struck out former subpar. (B) which read as follows: “The terms ‘suspend’ and ‘suspension’ mean placing a member of the Foreign Service in a temporary status without duties.”

2016—Pub. L. 114–323, § 415(a)(1), substituted “Separation for cause; suspension” for “Separation for cause” in section catchline.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 114–323, § 415(a)(2), added subsec. (c).

2002—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 107–228, § 314(a)(1), inserted “decide to” after “may”.

Subsec. (a)(2) to (6). Pub. L. 107–228, § 314(a)(2), (3), added pars. (2) to (4) and struck out former pars. (2) to (6) which related to the rights of members of the Service to hearings before the Foreign Service Grievance Board prior to being separated from the Service, suspensions from the Service pending final resolution of the underlying matter, procedural rights of suspended members, review of suspensions by the Board, and leave without pay pending final resolution for members recommended for separation.

1999—Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 106–113 added par. (6).

1998—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 105–277, in first sentence, substituted “Except in the case of an individual who has been convicted of a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment of more than 1 year may be imposed, a member” for “A member”.

1994—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 103–415 inserted “(other than a United States citizen employed under section 3951 of this title who is not a family member)” after “A member of the Service”.

1991—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 102–138, § 143(a)(1), substituted “a member has been convicted of a crime” for “there is reasonable cause to believe that a member has committed a crime”.

Subsec. (a)(4)(A). Pub. L. 102–138, § 143(a)(2), substituted “suspension” for “suspension, including the grounds for reasonable cause to believe a crime has been committed”.

Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 102–138, § 143(a)(3), substituted “the conviction requirements of subsection (a)(3) of this section have been fulfilled” for “there exists reasonable cause to believe a crime has been committed for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed”.

1990—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 101–246 inserted before period at end of first sentence “or, notwithstanding section 4136(8) of this title, unless the member has been convicted of a crime related to the cause for separation, subject to reinstatement with back pay (for any period during which separation for cause had not been established by such a hearing) if such conviction is reversed on appeal” and inserted sentence at end that section 4140 of this title apply to proceedings under this paragraph.

1989—Subsec. (a)(3) to (5). Pub. L. 101–167 added pars. (3) to (5).

1987—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 100–204 inserted after first sentence “If such cause is not established at such hearing, the Grievance Board shall have the authority to direct the Department to pay reasonable attorneys fees to the extent and in the manner provided by section 4137(b)(5) of this title.”

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 1987 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–204 not applicable with respect to any grievance in which the Board has issued a final decision pursuant to section 4137 of this title before Dec. 22, 1987, see section 181(e) of Pub. L. 100–204, set out as a note under section 3946 of this title.

Update to Foreign Affairs Manual

Pub. L. 117–263, div. I, title XCII, § 9202(b)(2), Dec. 23, 2022, 136 Stat. 3864, provided that: “The Director of Global Talent Management shall—

update the ‘Grounds for Disciplinary Action’ and ‘List of Disciplinary Offenses and Penalties’ sections of the Foreign Affairs Manual to reflect the amendments made under paragraph (1) [amending this section]; and
communicate such updates to Department [of State] staff through publication in Department Notices.”

Expedited Separation Out

Pub. L. 105–277, div. G, subdiv. B, title XXIII, § 2311(b), Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–826, provided that:

Separation of lowest ranked foreign service members.—
Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 21, 1998], the Secretary of State shall develop and implement procedures to identify, and recommend for separation, any member of the Foreign Service ranked by promotion boards of the Department of State in the bottom 5 percent of his or her class for 2 or more of the 5 years preceding the date of enactment of this Act (in this subsection referred to as the ‘years of lowest ranking’) if the rating official for such member was not the same individual for any two of the years of lowest ranking.
Special internal reviews.—
In any case where the member was evaluated by the same rating official in any 2 of the years of lowest ranking, an internal review of the member’s file shall be conducted to determine whether the member should be considered for action leading to separation.
The Secretary of State shall develop procedures for the internal reviews required under paragraph (2).”

Definition of “Reasonable Cause”

Pub. L. 101–167, title V, § 586(c), Nov. 21, 1989, 103 Stat. 1252, provided that for purposes of amendments by section 586(a) and (b) of Pub. L. 101–167, which amended this section and section 4136 of this title, reasonable cause to believe that a member has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed was to be defined as a member of the Service having been convicted of, and sentence of imprisonment having been imposed for, a job-related crime, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 102–138, title I, § 143(c), Oct. 28, 1991, 105 Stat. 668.