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"Civil servants can't be fired" - is that a myth or a fact?

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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 06:33 PM
Original message
"Civil servants can't be fired" - is that a myth or a fact?
I have to believe that a civil servant who fails to perform is just as likely to be fired as anyone else.
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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. Two words...
...Drug test
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Herman Munster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 06:37 PM
Original message
well it's very very hard to fire a federal employee
once their 1 year probationary period is up.

They don't call federal employment "Club Fed" for just any reason. You get a raise whether you perform or don't perform usually on the order of 5-6% withstep increases and yearly increases issued by congress.

That isn't to say it can't be done but the employee has so many appeal rights and usually they end up filing their own EEO complaint or lawsuit against the boss firing them claiming discrimination.

Most of the time the managers just try to move these problem employees to other departments rather than deal with the very real bureacratic pain in the ass of firing a civil servant.
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angstlessk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. So basically you cannot fire a Federal employee without CAUSE
these 'right' to work states are nothing except RIGHT TO FIRE WITHOUT CAUSE states..and all states in that catagory are low paid states...sorry...I think employees should have rights unlike you who think the ability to fire should rest with the manager who might not like the personality of his staff...get a life!
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Irreverend IX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
9. So what if...
I were to go from cubicle to cubicle at my theoretical civil service job and "mark" each one as my territory? What would happen if I looked at lots of really freaky porn on my office computer and discussed it with co-workers? (Well, I'd be the next Clarence Thomas, but I mean aside from that.) What if I spent all day playing noisy computer games and getting into eBay bidding wars? What if I built a shrine to Adolf Hitler at my desk? What if I threw eggs out the office windows at pedestrians below? How far could I go before getting canned?
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Fresh_Start Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. talk to the US attorneys that have been pushed out
I think they're civil servants and have been fired.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. AGs are political appointees and do not have civil service protections
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Fresh_Start Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. the general definition of civil servant
includes appointees. Only military is excluded from that definition since they are not 'civil' in nature.

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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. your general definition aside, political appointees do not have the same protections as career
appointees. They serve at the pleasure of the president
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
3. Myth.
It may take longer and require more proof than in the private sector, but it is very doable. It also requires a supervisor or manager who has the motivation and who'll make the effort. If you see a parallel to Congress....

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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. Indeed, doable but its a real PITA.
In larger organizations they are just past from group to group. Depending where you are its some times called the Lemon Dance or Pass the Trash.
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. I have as well.
Though I was at the state level. More recently, however, I've known a couple to get canned over internet porn. We're in a "new" day and age of puritanism combined with computers.

Some things, are more likely to get a gov't employee canned nowadays, than they would have been in the past.

I've also known a supervisor or two to take the time and effort it took, to get rid of the problem employees. You'd be surprised at how many of the problem employee's co-workers are willing to help getting rid of the problem. It's also, usually a great boost for morale. For many of the same reasons.

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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Was in federal civil service
and had a co-worker who was a terrible employee. They ended up getting rid of him for "chronic indebtedness."
It was quick. His true crimes had to do with finances and sex and that would have taken a long time. He must have agreed to go with the relatively benign indebtedness reason.
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Yep. There are ways.
Internet porn is a new "easy" trip to the exit.

Your post made me think of Capone - they got him for taxes. Now, we have something similar for "civil servants" who aren't civil and refuse to serve. :D

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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
5. Darn unions and civil service protections!
Yes, it's difficult to fire a civil servant, but it can be done. The civil service system, however, is a sturdy bulwark against the kind of "at will" employment sufferance that most of the rest of America's work force has to put up with. But America's corporate kings have persuaded themselves that a scared worker is a busy worker, and perks like paid time off and a fully integrated life featuring a fullness not only in employment but in one's personal life only get in the way of increased productivity, profits, and their own inflated compensation.
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
6. As it was put on 'Yes, Prime Minister':
"In theory, yes, in practice, no."
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
7. It's a myth.
Managers just need to be careful to document the reasons, and make sure the employee is given counseling and opportunities to fix the problem, if appropriate.
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Penndems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
8. Yep, they sure can
If a civil servant gets caught selling/buying/using illegal drugs, commits a crime, steals from the USG, commits espionage, lies on their employment application, or violates the oath they've taken when they were hired, they're history.
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itsmesgd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
12. They sure can be fired, especially if they screw up their security clearance
I "know what I'm talking about" and the easiest and quickest way is to lose a security clearance. There are certain standards for maintaining a clearance and if you lose the clearance, in many instances you are prohibited from the building in which you work. So in that case, you can be fired
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
18. So the consensus is that it's a myth.
I've worked as a supervisor at a couple of places. I've done employee counseling and enlisted the aid of the union rep to help an employee do a better job. (In one case, the employee needed to be hooked up with an agency that could help him find dependable day care.) I'm used to hearing other supervisors bitch about how hard it is to get rid of problem employees. Guess what? Work with human resources, document the problem, and either the person shapes up or ships out. As several posters noted, if a supervisor complains that it is impossible to get rid of a non-performing employee, it's because the supervisor isn't doing his/her job.

In any case, it's clear that being able to hire and fire is a bogus reason for privatizing the government work force.
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