Shuffling off to St. Louis

Houston, we have a problem. A proportion of the discipline actions being prepared for Title 38 employees (physicians, nurses, PAs etc) nationwide are being downgraded or overturned at the disciplinary appeals board level for technical reasons.

Fortunately, we have few to no actions of this type locally but if we do, they are a big deal. We need to be sure, for the employee, that actions are only initiated on valid causes and for the agency, that initiated actions are sustainable. So, off I go with my HR Manager colleagues for training. The training is being conducted by members of an awesome group and one that I am confident will make a what could be a VERY dry topic, VERY engaging.

For those non-federal readers who are interested in an HR primer: there are basically two types of employees governed by two different Titles, or Codes of Federal Regulations: Title 5 and Title 38.

  • Our physicians and independent health care providers are governed by Title 38 and everyone else by Title 5.
  • Title 38 and Title 5 differ in personnel systems, so the systems we use to hire, promote,  provide benefits for, evaluate, set pay, reward and discipline etc employees are very different.
  • A little twister:  most dependent health care related occupations, such as pharmacists, social workers, audiologists, LPNs etc are not purely Title 5 or Title 38, they are Hybrid Title 38. So we use Title 5 rules for basically everything but hiring, pay setting and promotion and use Title 38 rules for this.
  • Discipline actions, and associated processes, procedures and rights of review and appeal are very, very different for each title  and that is not even considering bargaining unit status and whether or not, if Title 38, the issue being addressed is related to professional conduct or competence.

Yeah, I know what you are thinking and you don't need to say a word. I am shuffling off to St. Louis for the week to learn more about the little niche we call Title 38 disciplinary actions. Have a great week!