Employee Relations, Communication and Precision

Researching federal employee relations case law can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. And communicating findings effectively can sometimes be even more challenging for human resource professionals.

When I am developing an action that is new or has a twist we had not encountered before, you can find me combing cases.

Yet, I drew a complete blank when I was recently asked about decisions I encountered that changed my recommendations.

A complete blank. What's that all about? Could it be that I am not as diligent as I could be? That I don't know the case law? Say it isn't so.

It isn't so.

What is so is that I realized I may not be on the lookout for changes in the "routine" landscape as often as I should be and my speaking around case law is not always all that it could be.

Knowing the decisions of third parties like the federal Merit Systems Protection Board and understanding the rationale for those decisions is absolutely necessary for expert advice and informed decision making.

Did you know that:

  • For the first time, the Merit Systems Protection Board ruled that the prohibition against imposing discipline more than once for the same misconduct may be waived in the context of a last chance agreement.
  • Although we (I) may use the term freely, the prohibition against "double jeopardy" applies only to criminal charges and not administrative disciplinary cases.
  • Disciplining an employee more than once for the same misconduct is different than imposing more than one penalty as in compound or unified penalties.

Ok, you know it. Do you really? Ok, you do. But let me ask you this, how did you speak it? The complexities, the contradictions, the conditions . . . oh my.

The one word that comes to mind for me right now when I consider employee relations, human resources professionals and our day to day communication is precision.

I know I could use a little more precision in my HR speak, how about you?

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