Arbitrator Tells BOP It’s Not OK to Discipline Someone Years after the Fact

Categories: DOJ, Workers' Rights, BOP

Thanks to AFGE’s outstanding representation, an arbitrator recently overturned a suspension of a correctional officer from Federal Correctional Institution Tallahassee, Florida. The BOP officer was given a one-day suspension after an incident surrounding his forgetting to perform rounds at the special housing unit.

But the suspension came two years after the misconduct took place. AFGE argued that BOP violated the collective bargaining agreement when it failed to discipline the officer in a timely manner, causing the incident to become punitive and not corrective. The arbitrator agreed.

“[H]aving the pending discipline for his actions on his mind this length of time does not meet the fairness concept of corrective discipline,” the arbitrator wrote. “The process requires management to investigate and decide the action to be taken in a reasonable length of time. The length of time taken in this case does not meet the reasonable length of time criteria. The one day suspension [24] months after the incident becomes punitive and not corrective." 

The employee was represented by an attorney in AFGE’s General Counsel’s Office.

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