POBAR provides that an officer must be given an opportunity for an administrative appeal whenever there is a punitive action against that officer or denial of promotion on grounds other than merit. Punitive action is any personnel action that may lead to dismissal, demotion, suspension, reduction in salary, written reprimand, or transfer for the purposes of punishment. An administrative action that results in a reduction of pay is per se a punitive action. However, a denial of a merit salary increase because of an unfavorable performance review is not a punitive action on its face and no administrative appeal is necessary.
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