|Effective Date:||Expiration Date:||Chapters:|
|March 14, 2016||When Superseded||16|
District government employees hold positions of public trust. This trust is violated when an employee's conduct threatens the integrity of District government operations; constitutes an immediate hazard to an agency, other District employees, or the employee; or is detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the public. As a result, the employee may be summarily suspended or removed from his or her position. This instruction outlines the procedures for taking summary actions.
An employee may be summarily suspended or removed from his or her position when his or her conduct: (1) threatens the integrity of D.C. government operations; (2) constitutes an immediate hazard to the agency, to other District employees, or to the employee; or (3) is detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the public.
Threats to the integrity of D.C. government operations include actions that undermine the public trust, such as using public office for significant private gain, falsifying records or statements, fiscal irregularities, criminal activity, and other conduct prejudicial to the District government.
|Examples of Threats to the Integrity of D.C. Government Operations|
|Conviction of a felony or any criminal offense that is related to the employee’s duties or his/her agency’s mission|
|Participating in a strike, work stoppage, slowdown, sickout or similar activity against the District government|
|Defrauding the government of funds or property|
An employee may be summarily suspended or removed when his or her action(s) unnecessarily expose an agency, another employee, or the employee to an immediate danger, peril, risk, or other hazard. Such hazards include the following:
|Examples of Immediate Hazards|
|Carrying a weapon or unauthorized firearm not related to the employees’ position description or duties in the workplace|
|Assaulting, fighting, threatening, attempting to inflict or inflicting bodily harm while on District property or on duty|
Behavior that is detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the public includes the following:
|Examples of Conduct Detrimental to Public Health, Safety, or Welfare|
|Failure or refusal to observe or enforce safety and health regulations exposing others or property to significant injury or damage|
|Operating a government vehicle or private vehicle on official business while under the influence of an illegal drug or alcohol|
Due to their expedient and serious nature, the decision to take a summary action should be made after careful consideration of the facts. Supervisors must receive approval in writing from the agency head prior to taking any summary action. The approval must identify:
When the agency head is satisfied that the required conditions are present, the agency must inform the employee and may order the employee to immediately leave his or her duty station and to stay away from D.C. Government-owned or occupied properties, if warranted. It is recommended that this be communicated in writing to the employee in conjunction with the summary action notice. However, the employee may be notified of the summary action verbally or in writing independent of the official notice. All security staff should be notified of any directive that denies the employee admittance to government property, all access cards should be revoked, and, if possible, all government equipment should be recovered.
Whenever an agency decides to summarily remove or suspend an employee, they must provide the employee with a written notice of the action. Although summary action notices can be issued within five (5) days of notifying the employee they have been suspended or removed, agencies should strive to issue the summary action notice at the time the action takes place to avoid delays in receipt and processing. A summary notice provided to an employee must include the following:
The notice should also advise the employee of their right to respond in writing to the notice of the proposed summary action, their right to be represented by an attorney or other representative, and, in the case of a removal, the administrative review process. See District Personnel Manual § 1620.3 for additional information.
Notices must be delivered to the employee in person or to the employee’s address of record by a commercial courier that provides delivery tracking and confirmation, or an alternate method that shows the employee actually received the notice. If an action is delivered in person, the official serving the document must execute a certificate of service, attesting to the delivery.
An employee who is served a summary action may submit a written response to the deciding official or administrative review officer identified in the notice within ten (10) calendar days of service for an adverse action, and five (5) days for a corrective action. The employee’s response should include evidence that he or she believes might affect the final decision. Evidence may include written statements of witnesses, affidavits, documents, or other information. The written response is the employee’s opportunity to discuss matters relevant to the reasons for the summary action.
Employee responses to a summary removal should be assessed during the administrative review process by an administrative review officer. Employee responses to summary suspensions will be assessed upon the issuance of the final decision. While the response received from the employee may allege a violation of their rights, it does not constitute a grievance. If the agency ultimately decides to uphold the decision to summarily remove or suspend the employee, the final decision must notify the employee of his or her right to appeal the decision or file a grievance. For additional information on administrative reviews or the grievance process, please refer to DPM Instruction 16-15, Administrative Review Process or DPM Instruction 16-17, Grievance Processing.
Within 45 days of the employee’s written response, the expiration date of the employee’s time to respond, or, in the case of a summary removal, receipt of the administrative review officer’s report, or another date as agreed to by the employee, the deciding official must serve a final decision on the employee. Service of the final decision must be done in person or by courier to the employee’s address of record (with delivery confirmation).
The final decision must be based on the proposed action, the employee’s written response (if any) and any administrative review report. The final decision must:
Final decisions should be fairly similar to the summary action and may rely upon the factor analysis worksheets used at the summary phase.
The provisions of this instruction apply to those District government agencies and employees that are subordinate to the Mayor’s personnel authority, with the exception of employees serving probation or under a temporary appointment. A valid collective bargaining agreement shall control, to the extent it conflicts with the provisions of this instruction.
For additional information concerning this instruction, please contact the DCHR’s Policy and Compliance Administration, by calling (202) 442-9700 or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.