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 A

Subchapter 4752 - Disciplinary or Alternative Action
Section A - Who are Employee Relations Specialists (ERS's)


Return to 4752 Table of Contents

Where Is Your ERS? Employee Relations Specialists (ERS's) provide advice and guidance on employee and labor relations matters. ERS's service various agencies and organizational units as follows: APHIS Employee Relations Branch
ERS's Help Supervisors

Some of the ways in which an ERS can help supervisors are as follows:

  • Advise how to handle a situation involving an employee performance, conduct, or labor relations issue;
  • Assist with a decision of what alternative action or what disciplinary action may be appropriate;
  • Locate and interpret pertinent regulations;
  • Help determine if a regulation was properly communicated to an employee;
  • Help determine if a rule was violated by an employee, and whether it was enforced with discipline in the past;
  • Explain how to counsel and document properly;
  • If necessary, conduct further factfinding or an investigation;
  • Advise on alternatives to traditional discipline;
  • If official disciplinary action is warranted, assist in defining an appropriate penalty for the offense(s);
  • Write official disciplinary letters for the supervisor's signature (based on input from the supervisor);
  • Explain pertinent employee's rights and the regulations therein;
  • Advise and assist with grievances; and
  • Defend disciplinary actions taken by the Agency that go before a third party (i.e., arbitration or the Merit Systems Protection Board).
ERS's Help Employees

Some of the ways in which an Employee Relations Specialist (ERS) can help employees are as follows:

  • Answer questions on employee or labor relations matters;
  • Locate and interpret pertinent regulations;
  • Explain employee's rights and the regulations therein;
  • Explain the disciplinary/adverse action process;
  • Explain the administrative or negotiated grievance process;
  • If the employee alleges discrimination, provide the telephone number of the Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance (CREC) office, or the name of an Equal Employment Opportunity counselor; or
  • Explain applicable regulations pertaining to bargaining unit employees (i.e., Weingarten right).
  Return to 4752 Table of Contents


Complementary Content