An indefinite suspension is where an employee is placed on a temporary status without duties and pay pending an investigation, inquiry, or further agency action that only ends after an investigation, inquiry, or other agency action. An indefinite suspension that lasts more than fourteen (14) days is appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”).
There are only three (3)circumstances where an agency may impose an indefinite suspension, which include: (1) the agency has reasonable cause to believe an employee committed a crime for which a sentence of prison could be imposed and is awaiting there solution of the criminal process or agency action following said process; (2)the agency has legitimate concerns that an employee’s medical condition makes that employee’s presence in the work place dangerous or inappropriate and the agency is awaiting a determination that the employee is fit for duty; or (3) an employee’s access to classified information has been suspended and the employee needs such access to perform his/her job and the agency is awaiting a final determination regarding access to such information.
To sustain an indefinite suspension appeal to the MSPB, the agency must show by preponderance of the evidence that:(1) it imposed the suspension for one of the three (3) authorized reasons; (2)the suspension has specific condition that will end it; (3) the suspension is connected to the efficiency of the service in that there is a connection between the employee’s alleged misconduct and his/her job responsibilities; and(4) the penalty is reasonable.
The attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C., have years of expertise on federal sector employment matters such and these, and are well qualified to assist you with your legal needs. Contact us today at 404-724-0000.