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(a) Statutory entitlements. An employee against whom action is proposed under this subpart is entitled to the procedures provided in 5 U.S.C. 7513(b).
(b) Notice of proposed action. (1) An employee against whom an action is proposed is entitled to at least 30 days' advance written notice unless there is an exception pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section. The notice must state the specific reason(s) for the proposed action, and inform the employee of his or her right to review the material which is relied on to support the reasons for action given in the notice.
(2) When some but not all employees in a given competitive level are being furloughed, the notice of proposed action must state the basis for selecting a particular employee for furlough, as well as the reasons for the furlough.
(3) Under ordinary circumstances, an employee whose removal or suspension, including indefinite suspension, has been proposed will remain in a duty status in his or her regular position during the advance notice period. In those rare circumstances where the agency determines that the employee's continued presence in the workplace during the notice period may pose a threat to the employee or others, result in loss of or damage to Government property, or otherwise jeopardize legitimate Government interests, the agency may elect one or a combination of the following alternatives:
(i) Assigning the employee to duties where he or she is no longer a threat to safety, the agency mission, or to Government property;
(ii) Allowing the employee to take leave, or carrying him or her in an appropriate leave status (annual, sick, leave without pay, or absence without leave) if the employee has absented himself or herself from the worksite without requesting leave;
(iii) Curtailing the notice period when the agency can invoke the provisions of paragraph (d)(1) of this section; or
(iv) Placing the employee in a paid, nonduty status for such time as is necessary to effect the action.
(c) Employee's answer. (1) An employee may answer orally and in writing except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. The agency must give the employee a reasonable amount of official time to review the material relied on to support its proposed action, to prepare an answer orally and in writing, and to secure affidavits, if the employee is in an active duty status. The agency may require the employee to furnish any answer to the proposed action, and affidavits and other documentary evidence in support of the answer, within such time as would be reasonable, but not less than 7 days.
(2) The agency will designate an official to hear the employee's oral answer who has authority either to make or recommend a final decision on the proposed adverse action. The right to answer orally in person does not include the right to a formal hearing with examination of witnesses unless the agency provides for such hearing in its regulations. Under 5 U.S.C. 7513(c), the agency may, in its regulations, provide a hearing in place of or in addition to the opportunity for written and oral answer.
(3) If the employee wishes the agency to consider any medical condition which may contribute to a conduct, performance, or leave problem, the employee must be given a reasonable time to furnish medical documentation (as defined in §339.104 of this chapter) of the condition. Whenever possible, the employee will supply such documentation within the time limits allowed for an answer.
(d) Exceptions. (1) Section 7513(b) of title 5, U.S. Code, authorizes an exception to the 30 days' advance written notice when the agency has reasonable cause to believe that the employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed and is proposing a removal or suspension, including indefinite suspension. This notice exception is commonly referred to as the “crime provision.” This provision may be invoked even in the absence of judicial action.
(2) The advance written notice and opportunity to answer are not required for furlough without pay due to unforeseeable circumstances, such as sudden breakdowns in equipment, acts of God, or sudden emergencies requiring immediate curtailment of activities.
(e) Representation. Section 7513(b)(3) of title 5, U.S. Code, provides that an employee covered by this part is entitled to be represented by an attorney or other representative. An agency may disallow as an employee's representative an individual whose activities as representative would cause a conflict of interest or position, or an employee of the agency whose release from his or her official position would give rise to unreasonable costs or whose priority work assignments preclude his or her release.
(f) Agency review of medical information. When medical information is supplied by the employee pursuant to paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the agency may, if authorized, require a medical examination under the criteria of §339.301 of this chapter, or otherwise, at its option, offer a medical examination in accordance with the criteria of §339.302 of this chapter. If the employee has the requisite years of service under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees' Retirement System, the agency must provide information concerning disability retirement. The agency must be aware of the affirmative obligations of the provisions of 29 CFR 1614.203, which require reasonable accommodation of a qualified individual with a disability.
(g) Agency decision. (1) In arriving at its decision, the agency will consider only the reasons specified in the notice of proposed action and any answer of the employee or his or her representative, or both, made to a designated official and any medical documentation reviewed under paragraph (f) of this section.
(2) The notice must specify in writing the reasons for the decision and advise the employee of any appeal or grievance rights under §752.405 of this part. The agency must deliver the notice of decision to the employee on or before the effective date of the action.
(h) Applications for disability retirement. Section 831.1204(e) of this chapter provides that an employee's application for disability retirement need not delay any other appropriate personnel action. Section 831.1205 and §844.202 of this chapter set forth the basis under which an agency must file an application for disability retirement on behalf of an employee.