Snapshot: Some Considerations in Determining Penalty #DisciplinaryAction

13 Going on 14 — GFM:


The following factors should be considered in determining the appropriate penalty. This list is not exhaustive, and not all factors are applicable to all cases.
(1) Nature of the offense, its seriousness, and consequences;
(2) History of past conduct problems, whether or not discipline was imposed (nature and frequency of past offenses and how recent the occurrences);
(3) Intent (possibility of genuine misunderstanding), willfulness of the conduct;
(4) Enticement or provocation;
(5) Position of employee (nature or relationship between behavior and official responsibilities, sensitivity of position);
(6) Culpability of others;
(7) Contacts with the public and prominence of the position;
(8) Notoriety of the offense or its impact upon the reputation of the Department;
(9) Where and when the misconduct occurred – in the United States or abroad, on duty or off-duty;
(10) Length of employee’s service, level of professional experience;
(11) Quality of employee’s work history;
(12) Past contributions and achievements;
(13) Record of cooperativeness, efforts toward and potential for rehabilitation;
(14) Other mitigating or extenuating circumstances;
(15) Clarity with which the employee was on notice of any rules that were violated in committing the offense;
(16) Consistency of the penalty with those imposed upon other employees for similar offenses and with the table of penalties in 3 FAM 4377; and
(17) The adequacy and effectiveness of alternative sanctions to deter such conduct in the future by the employee or others.
“These factors are derived from those enunciated in Douglas v. Veterans Administration, 5 Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), 313 (1981), which established criteria that agencies must consider in determining an appropriate penalty for an act of employee misconduct.”
Source: FSGB 2020-046; 3 FAM 4375 is available online here.
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