Although you are afforded many protections as a federal employee, it is not uncommon for such workers to face discipline and even termination. Workplace violations are often investigated when a federal employee has a disagreement with or is disliked by his/her supervisor. 

The following are five potential workplace behaviors federal employees should avoid: 

  1. Using the internet for personal use during work hours – Although the workplace policies of many federal agencies are quite lenient, you must avoid surfing the web for personal use while you are on the job. Common examples include accessing inappropriate websites, online shopping, watching a movie or television show on a streaming platform, or otherwise spending too much time online for personal purposes. 

  1. Using your government e-mail address for personal use – Misusing your official government email account will generally result in disciplinary action. Not only does misuse involve personal correspondence, but it also means sending inappropriate messages or photos to superiors and colleagues and even personalizing your signature block, such as using famous sayings or quotations. 

  1. Using your government credit cards to make personal purchases – Whether you accidentally or innocently use your government credit card for personal charges, misusing government expenses can not only lead to discipline or termination, but you may also be required to repay the government for all your alleged purchases. 

  1. Failing to address your performance improvement plans (PIPs) – You may believe that a PIP is used by your supervisors to help you improve your job performance; however, these plans are designed by federal agencies to facilitate an employee’s termination. You need to take your PIP seriously because it is actually a pre-planned attempt to fire you. 

  1. Being on your supervisor’s bad side – While disagreements are not uncommon in the workplace, consistent arguments between an employee and his/her supervisor often results in the supervisor disliking the employee, which may cause the supervisor to potentially investigate any potential acts of misconduct committed by the employee. If you continuously disagree with your supervisor, such actions can lead to a future performance or misconduct case. 

Although these tips may appear to be common sense, relaxed workplace rules cause many federal employees to lower their guard. Therefore, you must always be cautious of how you act in the federal workplace. 

If you are being investigated for a federal workplace violation, contact Pines Federal at (800) 801-0598 today to let us protect your rights and best interests throughout the legal process. Our legal team has more than 50 years of combined legal experience!