- The seriousness of the offense;
- The employee’s position, including fiduciary or supervisory role;
- The employee’s past disciplinary record;
- The effect of the offense on the employee’s ability to perform satisfactorily or upon supervisor’s confidence in the employee’s ability to perform;
- The employee’s past work record, including length of service, job performance, and dependability;
- The consistency of penalty with those imposed in other similar situations;
- The consistency of penalty with the agency’s table of penalties;
- The notoriety of the offense;
- The clarity with which employee was on notice of rules or policies allegedly violated;
- The employee’s potential for rehabilitation and to learn from his or her mistakes;
- Mitigating circumstances, such as unusual job tensions, personality problems, bad faith, or malice;
- The adequacy of alternative sanctions to deter future misconduct.
Office of Employee Appeals
The D.C. Office of Employee Appeals (OEA) is an independent agency of the District government charged with ensuring that District agencies follow the law when they discipline their employees. OEA will hear employee appeals of adverse employment actions, such as:(a) A performance rating which results in removal of the employee;(b) An adverse action for cause which results in removal;(c) A reduction in grade;(d) A suspension for ten (10) days or more;(e) A reduction-in-force; or(f) A placement on enforced leave for ten (10) days or more.Importantly, the OEA will not hear claims of discrimination or retaliation.In general, before a D.C. government agency takes action to correct an employee’s misconduct or poor performance, the agency has to give the employee advance notice and an opportunity to respond.If an agency of the D.C. government issues a decision taking an adverse employment action that is appealable to OEA, the agency is required to issue the decision in writing with a notice of the employee’s right of appeal, the rules for filing an appeal, an appeal form, a notice of rights under a union contract, and notice of the right to be represented by an attorney. Employees must then file their appeals within thirty (30) days of receipt of the decision notice.The OEA often looks to its federal counterpart, the Merit Systems Protection Board, for guidance. Like the MSPB, OEA will consider mitigating and aggravating circumstances when it evaluates whether an agency’s chosen discipline, such as removal, is appropriate under the circumstances. When it comes to issuing reasonable penalties, the agency has to consider twelve (12) factors, called the Douglas Factors.