May 19, 2004
To: All USGS Supervisors and Managers
From: S. Kaye Cook, Chief, Office of Human Resources
Subject: Guide to Alternative Discipline
Attached for your use is the new U.S. Geological Survey Guide for Alternative Discipline (AD). This guide can be used as a tool to effectively resolve, reduce, or even eliminate workplace disputes that might come from a circumstance where disciplinary action is appropriate. As the term suggests, AD is an alternative to traditional discipline--usually when the traditional penalty would be less than removal and may be used as a means of positively correcting an employee's conduct while preserving the supervisor-employee relationship. Alternative Discipline reflects the combined capabilities of supervisors or managers, employees and union representatives, if applicable, to reach voluntary agreement on the type of discipline that accomplishes the objectives of both parties. It is also an excellent tool for reducing the administrative costs and burdens associated with traditional discipline.
It is essential that you contact your servicing Human Resources Office prior to entering into any alternative discipline agreement with an employee. An employee relations specialist can provide assistance and answer any questions you may have about this process.