Employee Relations

The Department's Employee Relations Program provides policy and oversight for a variety of non-union employment matters, including disciplinary and performance issues, administrative grievances, investigations of workplace misconduct allegations, prevention of workplace violence, and several other programs.

Employee Conduct Expectations

In addition to conduct expectations expressed in specific policies, all Department employees are subject to 370 Departmental Manual 430 Performance Management System which outlines the Departmental procedures that can be used to address conduct and performance concerns.  Employee Relations practitioners in each Servicing HR Office consult with supervisors who are planning to take such actions and are also available to answer employees' questions regarding their rights and the procedures used.


Managers must promptly investigate allegations of harassing conduct and ensure that the conduct does not continue. Personnel Bulletin 16-01 Modification to Administrative Leave Procedural Guidance (June 2016) advises Bureaus/Offices that are planning to place employees on administrative leave for more than 14 consecutive calendar days to submit a request to the Office of Human Capital for final approval by the Chief Human Capital Officer.

Congress passed the Administrative Leave Act of 2016 in December 2016. While the relevant OPM regulations are pending, the Department is moving forward with using new FPPS/Quicktime pay codes to categorize various uses of administrative leave in line with the future requirements of this law. For details, please read the OHC Memorandum: Guidance on Using Administrative Leave Pay Codes (March 2017).

The Chief Human Capital Officer issued a Memo on Monitoring Administrative Leave Usage (June 2019), which requires DOI Bureaus/Offices to review and report on their organizations’ usage of administrative leave on a quarterly basis, to ensure that the usage of leave is appropriate and limited to the extent possible. Quarterly reports on administrative leave that is longer than 14 consecutive calendar days must be emailed to the Office of Human Capital one month after the end of the quarter.

Administrative Grievance Procedures

The DOI Administrative Grievance Procedures (AGP) provide a fair, efficient, and orderly process for the review and resolution of disputes on employment-related and workplace matters. The AGP encourages the use of conflict management tools and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve issues and concerns whenever practical. Covered employees may use the AGP without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.

Additional Policies

The Department also has policies in place that cover transgender and other gender non-conforming employees, drug-free and alcohol-free workplace requirements, voluntary employee organizations (non-union), professional liability insurance reimbursement, workplace violence prevention and a dress code.  Please see the links in the right-hand box.

Recommended Reading

OPM Guide: Managing Federal Employees' Performance Issues or Misconduct (2017)

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