Department of Defense Education Activity

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Awards and Recognition

Incentive Awards

Recognition for special achievements or acts, superior job performance, beneficial suggestions or inventions, or long and satisfactory or better service which resulted in tangible or intangible benefits that merit special recognition. Recognition can be in the form of a cash award, an honorary award, a career service award, or a time-off award. Incentive awards may not be granted in the place of Performance Awards.

Performance Awards

Performance Awards are based on the employee’s rating of record for the current appraisal period and consist of either a cash award or a Quality Step Increase. Performance awards may not be given in place of an Incentive Award. For more information regarding performance awards, see DS Regulation 5430.9, Performance Management System.

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Administrative Grievance Procedure for non-bargaining unit employees

Employee Discipline

Practitioners in the employee relations field provide advice and guidance to supervisors on how to address employee misconduct. In such instances, a complex host of requirements concerning misconduct govern matters such as progressive discipline and procedural due process, and these requirements must be considered in effecting disciplinary actions. Supervisors are encouraged to contact their district labor and employee relations specialist point of contact to obtain advice and assistance in how to address employee misconduct. (Link to POCs for DoDEA Europe)

  • Administrator’s Guide to Pre-Action Investigations – will need to provide a soft copy for posting
    • Pre-Action Checklist – will need to provide a soft copy for posting
    • Pre-Action Report Form – will need to provide a soft copy for posting
    • Declaration under Penalty of Perjury – will need to provide a soft copy for posting

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Labor Relations

Management and the unions that represent Federal employees work together cooperatively to enhance effectiveness and efficiency, to cut down the number of employment-related disputes, and to improve working conditions. All of which contribute to the kind of performance and results that ensure the success of our mission to provide exemplary educational programs that inspire and prepare all students for success in a global environment.

  • FEA Negotiated Agreement –
  • OFT Collective Bargaining Agreement –

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Leave Administration

There are various types of leave, or approved absence, from the workplace.

  • DoDEA Regulation for TP Employees -
  • Note - supervisors should also refer to the Collective Bargaining Agreement
  • DoDEA Regulation for GS Employees -
  • Policy Compensatory Leave for Travel -
  • Family and Medical Leave Act

    The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 provides certain covered Federal employees with entitlement to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave (LWOP) during any 12-month period for the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and the care of such son or daughter; the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care; the care of a souse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee who has a serious health condition; or a serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her position.

  • Voluntary Leave Transfer Program
    The Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP) is a program that permits Federal civilian employees to donate annual leave to other Federal civilian employees who are experiencing personal medical or family medical emergencies.
  • Note – Questions regarding DoDEA Europe employees should be referred to your district labor and employee relations specialist point of contact.
    (Link to POCs for DoDEA Europe)

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Performance Management

In general, performance management is the systematic process by which an agency involves its employees, as individuals and members of a group, in improving organizational effectiveness in the accomplishment of agency mission and goals. Specific guidance for our positions is linked below.

  • For TP Employees - DoDDS Educator Performance Appraisal System (EPAS)
    • EPAS Guide -
    • EPAS Companion – will need to provide Dave a soft-copy for posting
    • EPAS FAQs -
  • For Administrators
    • MAPA -
  • For GS Employees
    • DS Regulation 5430.9, dated March 16, 1990 -

Supervisors are also encouraged to contact their district labor and employee relations specialist point of contact to obtain advice and assistance in how to address poor performance. (Link to POCs for DoDDS-Europe)

Supervisor FAQs (Link to

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Supervisor FAQs

Q: How many days does a principal have to respond to a step 2 grievance?
A: Under the DoDDS/FEA negotiated grievance procedure, the Principal must issue a written decision within seven (7) calendar days from the date the written grievance was received by the principal.

Under the DoDDS/OFT negotiated grievance procedure, the Principal or designated representative will issue a written decision to the employee within ten (10) calendar days.
Q: Whose responsibility is it to request that the grievance be elevated if not resolved at Step 1 or Step 2?
A: It is the responsibility of the employee or the employee's representative to request that the grievance be elevated to the next level/step.
Q: Are employees entitled to union representation during meetings regarding performance?
A: Normally employees are not entitled to union representation during a meeting regarding performance. However, OFT bargaining unit members have a right to union representation during performance meetings under the DoDDS/OFT collective bargaining agreement.
Q: Must a supervisor advise the employee of his/her right to representation prior to or during an investigation?
A: The Authority has ruled that under the Statute, the employer need not advise the employee during an investigation of his right to a representative. An annual notice of that right is sufficient. 5 USC 7114(a)(3). Sears v. Dept. of Navy, 680 F.2d 863 (1st Cir. 1982). However, an Agency may be required to advise the employee of his/her right to representation if required under a negotiated agreement.
Q: What should I do if an employee requests representation during an investigation?
A: The supervisor has the choice of either concluding the interview and advising the employee that a decision will be made regarding disciplinary action with the facts gathered to that point, or the supervisor may postpone the investigation until the employee obtains representation. The supervisor should proceed with the interview once the union representative arrives.
Q: What is the role of the union representative during the investigation of an employee?
A: The representative is only present to assist the employee, and clarify the questions and facts or suggest other employees who may have knowledge of them. The union representative cannot answer questions on the employee's behalf.
Q: How long must an employee be on the job before he/she can receive a performance rating?
A: An employee must be in the position for at least 120 days before a rating can be assigned.
Q: What should I do if the rating period is over and the employee has not been on the job for at least 120 days?
A: The rating should be postponed until the employee is on the job for 120 days. The rating should not be postponed for more than 120 days unless special circumstances exist.
Q: What's the Difference Between Poor Performance and Misconduct?
A: Misconduct is normally an employee's failure to follow a workplace rule. Poor performance is the employee's failure to do the job at an acceptable level.
Q: When should I notify an employee that his/her performance is unacceptable?
A: The supervisor should inform the employee as soon as he/she is aware that the performance is unacceptable.
Q: If an employee is not meeting the critical elements of their performance standards, what should I do?
A: Educators at the Professional Level who are not meeting all the critical performance elements may be placed on the Intervention Plan. Keep in mind that the Intervention Plan is voluntary. Educators who fail to demonstrate improvement in the Intervention Program will be placed in a formal Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) in accordance with the negotiated agreements and regulation. If the employee chooses not to be placed in an Intervention Program, the Administrator can proceed with a PIP.
Q: How long must the educator remain on the Intervention Plan before moving to the PIP?
A: There is no set time limit. A time limit should be established at the time both the educator and the administrator agree to participate in the Intervention Program. The time limit should be determined on a case-by-case basis to best suit the needs of the parties.
Q: What happens when the employee's performance does not improve during the PIP?
A: If the employee's performance does not improve during the improvement period, the supervisor has the options including reassignment or demotion, if applicable, or removal.
Q: Are probationary/trial period employees required to be placed on a PIP?
A: No. The laws and regulations exclude probationary/trial period employees from the procedures that require the use of opportunity to improve.
Q: How many days of advanced leave can be approved at the district level?
A: Ten (10) days of advance leave can be approved at the District level. Advance Leave requests in excess of 10 days must be approved at the Director DoDEA Europe level.
Q: One of my Kindergarten Teachers requested 10 days of LWOP. Do I have the Authority to grant the request?
A: No. The principal has the authority to grant LWOP for up to 3 days. Requests for LWOP in excess of 3 days up to 30 days are approved by the District Superintendent. Leave. Requests for LWOP in excess of 30 days are approved at the Director, DoDEA Europe level.
Q: I have an educator who wants to donate leave to the Educational Aid. Can the educator donate one of his APL days?
A: No. Leave for educators is governed by Title 20 U.S.C. while leave for GS employees is governed by Title 5 U.S.C.. Since the leave systems differ, a TP employee cannot donate leave to a GS employee.
Q: Are employees entitled to Administrative Leave to attend religious services?
A: No. There is no law, rule or regulation that requires the Agency to grant Administrative Leave for employees to attend religious services. The employee should request annual or Any Purpose Leave. Employees may also request LWOP.
Q: Is leave used under the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA) always Leave without pay (LWOP)?
A: No. If the employee is otherwise eligible under the Act, having met one or more of the four conditions of the FMLA, the employee may substitute paid leave (annual leave, sick leave, educator leave, or compensatory time). The type of leave request must be identified in advance.
Q: Can a supervisor deny requests for leave under FMLA?
A: Ordinarily, no. A supervisor can delay leave under the Act if the employee asks for leave with less than 30 days notice and the condition supporting the leave request was predictable. The supervisor can then delay the 12 weeks entitlement until the 30-day notice period is fulfilled.

When the employee is unable to produce medical documentation in time for the 30-day notice period due to a medical emergency, the supervisor can grant provisional leave pending production of the documentation. If the documentation is not forthcoming, the employee can be requested to submit a request for annual leave, educator leave, or sick leave. If the employee has promised something that he/she could not produce, then the employee may be subject to disciplinary action.