Sexual misconduct is often charged as “Abusive, Offensive, Indecent, Disgraceful, Disrespectful, Insolent, or Inflammatory Language” or as “Conduct Unbecoming.” The Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”), however, often has drawn distinctions between using profanity or vulgar language and sexual harassment. Sexual misconduct charges typically come up in situations where a federal employee is accused of instances sexually inappropriate conduct or words toward his/her colleagues.
Sexual misconduct may often overlap with sexual harassment, but in many cases there is a difference. There is also a distinction between sexual misconduct and sexual harassment and there have been cases where inappropriate conduct was proven but not sexual harassment. In one case, the MSPB reversed the decision of an Administrative Judge who enhanced a penalty against an employee because he believed that the conduct was sexual harassment.
Please see our other blog posts on “Sexual Harrassment;” “Abusive, Offensive, Indecent, Disgraceful, Disrespectful, Insolent, or Inflammatory Language; ”and “Conduct Unbecoming.” The elements and nature of the offense as well as possible penalties and defenses will vary depending on how the sexual misconduct is charged.
The federal employment attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. are highly experienced in MSPB matters such as these, and are willing and able to assist you in your federal employment legal matters.