Authorization of Secretary; right to hearing; attorneys fees and backpay; leave without pay
(1) The Secretary may decide to separate any member from the Service for such cause as will promote the efficiency of the Service.
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), whenever the Secretary decides under paragraph (1) to separate, on the basis of misconduct, any member of the Service (other than a United States citizen employed under section 3951 of this title who is not a family member) who either—
(i) is serving under a career appointment, or
(ii) is serving under a limited appointment,
the member may not be separated from the Service until the member receives a hearing before the Foreign Service Grievance Board and the Board decides that cause for separation has been established, unless the member waives, in writing, the right to such a hearing, or the member’s appointment has expired, whichever is sooner.
(B) The right to a hearing in subparagraph (A) does not apply in the case of an individual who has been convicted of a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment of more than one year may be imposed.
(3) If the Board decides that cause for separation has not been established, the Board may direct the Department to pay reasonable attorneys’ fees to the extent and in the manner provided by section 4137(b)(5) of this title. The hearing provided under this paragraph shall be conducted in accordance with the hearing procedures applicable to grievances under section 4136 of this title and shall be in lieu of any other administrative procedure authorized or required by this or any other Act. Section 4140 of this title shall apply to proceedings under this paragraph.
(4) Notwithstanding the hearing required by paragraph (2), at the time that the Secretary decides to separate a member of the Service for cause, the member shall be placed on leave without pay. If the member does not waive the right to a hearing, and the Board decides that cause for separation has not been established, the member shall be reinstated with back pay.
In order to promote the efficiency of the Service, the Secretary may suspend a member of the Service when—
(A) the member’s security clearance is suspended; or
(B) there is reasonable cause to believe that the member has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed.
Any member of the Service for whom a suspension is proposed under this subsection shall be entitled to—
(A) written notice stating the specific reasons for the proposed suspension;
(B) a reasonable time to respond orally and in writing to the proposed suspension;
(C) obtain at such member’s own expense representation by an attorney or other representative; and
(D) a final written decision, including the specific reasons for such decision, as soon as practicable.
(3) Any member suspended under this subsection may file a grievance in accordance with the procedures applicable to grievances under subchapter XI of this chapter.
If a grievance is filed pursuant to paragraph (3)—
(A) the review by the Foreign Service Grievance Board shall be limited to a determination of whether the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) have been fulfilled; and
(B) the Board may not exercise the authority provided under section 4136(8) of this title.
In this subsection:
The term “reasonable time” means—
(i) with respect to a member of the Service assigned to duty in the United States, 15 days after receiving notice of the proposed suspension; and
(ii) with respect to a member of the Service assigned to duty outside the United States, 30 days after receiving notice of the proposed suspension.
(B) The terms “suspend” and “suspension” mean placing a member of the Foreign Service in a temporary status without duties.
(Pub. L. 96–465, title I, § 610, Oct. 17, 1980, 94 Stat. 2098; Pub. L. 100–204, title I, § 181(d), Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1364; Pub. L. 101–167, title V, § 586(b), Nov. 21, 1989, 103 Stat. 1252; Pub. L. 101–246, title I, § 143, Feb. 16, 1990, 104 Stat. 36; Pub. L. 102–138, title I, § 143(a), Oct. 28, 1991, 105 Stat. 668; Pub. L. 103–415, § 1(h)(2), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4300; Pub. L. 105–277, div. G, subdiv. B, title XXIII, § 2313, Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–827; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, § 1000(a)(7) [div. A, title III, § 328], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–438; Pub. L. 107–228, div. A, title III, § 314(a), Sept. 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 1378; Pub. L. 114–323, title IV, § 415(a), Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1933.)