Skip to main content
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

HRDG 4752 - Disciplinary or Alternative Actions - Section J

Subchapter 4752 - Disciplinary or Alternative Action
Section J - What Are Prohibited Personnel Practices (PPP's)?


Return to 4752 Table of Contents

List of PPP's

A Prohibited Personnel Practice (PPP) is a violation of law, regulation, or procedure. It is important for all managers, supervisors, and ERS to be knowledgeable of and not engage in a PPP because a disciplinary action may be overturned by a third party review if the employee proves that there was a PPP involved. The following is an explanation and a summary list of PPP's taken from the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978:

Any employee who has authority to take, direct others to take, recommend, or approve any personnel action, shall not, with respect to such authority:

  • Discriminate for or against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, marital status, or political affiliation;
  • Solicit or consider any recommendation on a person who requests or is being considered for a personnel action unless the material is an evaluation of the person's work performance, ability, aptitude or general qualifications, or character, loyalty, and suitability;
  • Use official authority to coerce political actions, to require political contributions, or to retaliate for refusal to do these things;
  • Deceive or willfully obstruct any person with respect to such person's right to compete for employment;
  • Influence any person to withdraw from competition for any position for the purpose of improving or injuring the prospects of any other person for employment;
  • Grant any preference or advantage not authorized by law, rule, or regulation to any employee or applicant for employment;
  • Appoint, employ, promote, or advance relatives in their agencies;
  • Take or fail to take a personnel action as a reprisal against employees or applicants for employment who lawfully disclose violations of law, rule, or regulation; or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety;
  • Take or fail to take any personnel action against any employee or applicant for employment as a reprisal for the exercise of any appeal right;
  • Discriminate for or against an employee or applicant on the basis of conduct which does not adversely affect the performance of the employee or applicant or the performance of others; and/or
  • Take or fail to take any other personnel action in violation of a law, rule, or regulation directly related to merit system principles.
Whistle-blower Complaints Regarding PPP's If an employee files a Whistleblower Complaint(s) alleging a PPP against a supervisor or the agency, the Office of Special Counsel will investigate the complaint(s). If the PPP is found to be valid, appropriate corrective or disciplinary action will be taken against the responsible party. If the PPP involves a disciplinary action taken against an employee, and the PPP is proven valid, the disciplinary action will be overturned.
Further Information For further information on PPP's or Whistleblowing regulations, contact your servicing ERS identified in Section A.
  Return to 4752 Table of Contents
Complementary Content