- Discriminate (including discrimination based on marital status and political affiliation).
EXAMPLE: Supervisor Joe refuses to promote Employee Jane because Jane is a registered Republican;
or his refusal is because she is a single mother. (OSC will generally defer Title VII
discrimination allegations to the EEO process, rather than duplicating already existing procedures.)
- Solicit or consider employment recommendations based on factors other than personal knowledge or records of job-related abilities or characteristics.
EXAMPLE: Selecting Official Joe hires Applicant Jack based on Senator Smith’s recommendation that Jack be hired because Jack is a constituent;
or fails to hire Applicant Jane because of Congressman Smith's
recommendation based on the Congressman's friendship with Jane's
- Coerce the political activity of any person, or take action against any employee as reprisal for refusing to engage in political activity.
EXAMPLE: Supervisor Jane takes away significant job duties of Employee Jack because Jack will not make a contribution to Jane’s favorite candidate.
- Deceive or willfully obstruct any person from competing for employment.
EXAMPLE: Supervisor Joe, located in Headquarters, orders that no vacancy announcements be posted in the field office where Employee Jack works because he does not want Jack to get a new job;
or falsely states that there will be extensive travel in the
position when he knows that there is no travel.
- Influence any person to withdraw from competition for a position to improve or injure the employment prospects of any other person.
EXAMPLE: Supervisor Jane, in an effort to hire Employee Joe, tells Employee Jack that he should not apply for a position because he is not qualified and will never be selected. Employee Jack is qualified.
- Give an unauthorized preference to a person to improve or injure the employment prospects of any particular employee or applicant.
EXAMPLE: Supervisor Jane specifies that Spanish-speaking skills are necessary for a vacant position, for the purpose of selecting Employee Jack, who speaks fluent Spanish. The position, however, does not require Spanish-speaking skills..
- Engage in nepotism. EXAMPLE: Second-level Supervisor Jane asks First-level Supervisor Joe to hire her son;
or to promote her daughter.
- Take a personnel action against an employee because of whistleblowing.
EXAMPLE: Supervisor Joe directs the geographic reassignment of Employee Jack because Jack reported safety violations to the agency’s Inspector General;
or because employee Jill reported a gross waste of funds to the
Office of Internal Affairs.
- Take a personnel action against any employee because of the exercise of an appeal, complaint, or grievance right.
EXAMPLE: Supervisor Jane places Employee Jack on an undesirable detail because Employee Jack filed an administrative grievance about his performance rating.
- Discriminate against an employee on the basis of conduct, which does not adversely affect the performance of the employee.
EXAMPLE: Jack's employment is terminated because he
attended a "Gay Pride" march; or he attended a "Pro-Life" event;
attended an animal rights rally; or he attended a gun-owners'
- Take or fail to take a personnel action, if such action would violate a veterans’ preference requirement.
Example: Supervisor Jane hired Employee Jack, without considering Veteran Jennifer, who was included on the list of eligible employees. (OSC’s jurisdiction is for disciplinary actions only; the Dept. of Labor has jurisdiction to investigate for corrective actions.).
- Take a personnel action against an employee which violates a law, rule, or regulation which implements a merit systems principle.
EXAMPLE: Supervisor Joe terminates the probationary appointment of Employee Jack because of Jack’s letter to the editor criticizing affirmative action - a valid exercise of First amendment rights, a law implementing a merit system principle.