Copyright (c) 1993 South Dakota Law Review
South Dakota Law Review
CHALLENGES TO PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES UNDER THE CIVIL SERVICE REFORM ACT OF 1978
Federal employees are generally subject to performance appraisals administered by the employing agency. These performance appraisal systems were established under the mandates of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 and regulations promulgated thereunder. Unfortunately, performance appraisals are sometimes not implemented as intended by the framers of the Act. Consequently, adverse actions taken against employees based on flawed evaluations are frequently challenged and sometimes overturned. This comment offers the practitioner a basic understanding of the Civil Service Reform Act, as well as a guide to the major types of challenges to performance appraisals administered to federal employees.
38 S.D. L. REV. 341
The enormous federal personnel system has been called a "large and complicated beast." 1 The federal government employs over 2.9 million persons. 2 In South Dakota alone, there are over 15,000 federal employees, making the federal government one of the largest employers in the state. 3 Therefore, every general South Dakota practitioner should have some familiarity with the federal personnel system and the guidelines governing actions taken against employees within the system.
The majority of federal employees are covered by performance appraisal systems established under provisions of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA or "Act") 4 and regulations promulgated thereunder. 5 Establishment and implementation of these performance appraisal systems are at the very core of the purposes behind the CSRA. 6 However, performance appraisals are not always carried out as intended by the framers of the Act, 7 and agency actions taken against employees based on performance appraisals are frequently challenged and sometimes overturned due to less-than-ideal implementation of the systems.
This comment provides to the practitioner a general familiarization with the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, and a discussion of the types of frequently-encountered challenges to agency actions against employees that are based on implementation of the performance appraisal system. Part II provides a discussion of the history and purposes of the Civil Service Reform Act. Part III details provisions of the sections of the Act which outline the key elements of performance appraisal systems. Part IV summarizes case law illustrative of ...
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