By Dixie Jackson and Gene Blankenship
OPEA continues to hear from our members being pressured to sign documents that have just been presented to them. These documents range from a Performance Management Plan/Evaluation to corrective discipline including termination of employment.
On PMP/Evaluation documents there should have been ongoing conversations with your supervisor throughout the process with information and resources which allow you to make any adjustments to your work performance. If this has not been part of the process you certainly have the right to respond to each area in writing. This response should be attached to the PMP/Evaluation along with your right to file an internal agency complaint. If you sign this document, we encourage you to note on the document that you are not in agreement with the findings and that you plan to file a response along with a complaint with your agency.
We advise you never to backdate any documents. You sign the day they are presented to you in person. Corrective interviews presented need to be responded to in writing by the employee. Once again you have a right to file an internal agency complaint regarding areas of concern. Most agencies have internal mediation programs which the employee can request.
Again if you are feeling pressured to sign the document immediately and you do sign state that you disagree with the finding and you will be pursuing your rights to file an internal agency complaint.
Be sure to put your concerns in writing and keep a copy.
Adverse actions which rise to the level of filing with Civil Service Division of Human Capital Management should be carefully reviewed and if you are pressured to sign give OPEA a call for assistance. Let your agency know that you have the right to review these documents prior to signing. Adverse actions including written reprimands, suspension without leave, demotions, punitive transfers, and terminations.
The one area that we really caution you about signing is a termination document. Agencies offer to allow you to resign your position so there is no record of a termination on your work records.
When you sign this resignation form you have then given up your right to file through the administrative process offered through Civil Service Division of Oklahoma Human Capital Management. Our advice is DON’T SIGN without having some outside advice. If you are a member of OPEA give us a call prior to signing. We want to make sure that your rights are protected.
I know that staff feel very pressured when presented with discipline. That is the main reason not to sign a document when you are stressed out. Let OPEA help shepherd you through this process.