Fixed spacing issues per Kevin Wilson email on 12/7/21. PAB: Personnel Appeals Board

Prohibited Personnel Practices

Prohibited Personnel Practice
| Discrimination Based on Marital Status and Political Affiliation | Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation | How to File a PPP Charge | After a Charge is Filed

GAO employees are protected against prohibited personnel practices defined in 5 U.S.C. § 2302(b). Generally, 5 U.S.C. § 2302 makes it unlawful for an employee having authority to take, direct others to take, recommend, or approve a personnel action if to do so would constitute a prohibited personnel practice.

Prohibited personnel practices include:

  • Discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, marital status, genetic information, or political affiliation;
  • Soliciting or considering an improper evaluation
  • Coercing political activity
  • Willfully obstructing competition for employment
  • Influencing anyone to withdraw from competition for any position
  • Giving an unauthorized advantage to anyone to improve or injure employment prospects
  • Nepotism
  • Reprisal for whistleblowing [i.e., disclosure of information]
  • Reprisal for exercising appeal rights
  • Discriminating based on conduct not related to performance
  • Violating a veterans' preference requirement
  • Taking or not taking actions in violation of a law, rule, or regulation
  • Implementing a non-disclosure policy unless the policy comports with laws regarding whistleblower protection and disclosures to Congress or Inspectors General
  • Accessing the medical records of another employee or applicant for employment as part of or in furtherance of any of the above prohibited personnel practices

If a current or former GAO employee or applicant for employment with GAO believes that he/she has been subject to a prohibited personnel practice, he/she may file a Charge with the PAB/OGC. Usually, a Charge alleging that the Agency committed a prohibited personnel practice must be filed within 30 days from the date the individual knew or should have known that a prohibited personnel practice was committed. If the allegation involves an adverse or performance-based action, a charge must be filed within 30 days of the effective date of the personnel action. More information on how to file a PPP Charge is available at How to File a PPP.

For further information on procedures after a charge is filed with the PAB/OGC, see What Happens After a Charge is Filed?