Addressing Poor Performance
What happens if an Employee’s Performance is Below the Meets Expectations (ME) level?
Any time during the appraisal period an employee demonstrates that he/she is performing below the ME level in at least one critical element, the Rating Official should contact his/her Human Resources Office for guidance and:
- If performance is at the Needs Improvement (NI) level; issue the employee a Performance Assistance Plan (PAP); or
- If performance is at the Fails to Meet Expectations (FME) level; issue the employee a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP).
The Headquarters Employee and Labor Relations Division provides guidance and assistance to Management on Work Force Discipline. The DOE Order outlines procedures and state responsibilities for maintaining an effective and efficient work force through work force discipline at the Department of Energy (DOE).
The Merit Systems Protection Board in its landmark decision, Douglas vs. Veterans Administration, 5 MSPR 280, established criteria that supervisors must consider in determining an appropriate penalty to impose for an act of employee misconduct. These twelve factors are commonly referred to as “Douglas Factors” and have been incorporated into the various Labor Agreements
There are two grievance procedures available to DOE Headquarters employees. They are:
- The negotiated grievance procedure contained in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Department of Energy Headquarters and the National Treasury Employees Union. The procedure is outlined in Article 11 of that agreement.
- The Administrative grievance procedure outlined in DOE Order 342.1. This procedure is not available to DOE employees covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
5 U.S.C. 7114(a)(2) provides in part:
“An exclusive representative of an appropriate unit in an agency shall be given the opportunity to be represented at…any examination of an employee in the unit by a representative of the agency in connection with an investigation if -
- The employee reasonably believes that the examination may result in disciplinary action against the employee; and
- The employee requests representation.