The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) hears appeals from federal employees concerning certain adverse employment decisions, such as termination, suspension, or reductions in pay or grade. Not all federal employees are covered under MSPB jurisdiction, and not all adverse actions are appealable to the MSPB.
If you need advice about your options in the face of an adverse employment decision in your government job, contact HKM Employment Attorneys to learn about your rights and the most effective ways to protect them.
The MSPB provides a process for appealing adverse employment decisions in the federal government. It protects federal employees such as the following:
- Employees in the competitive service who have successfully completed a one-year probationary period
- Employees with at least one year of current continuous service, except under a temporary appointment of no longer than one year
- Employees who are eligible for veterans’ preferences with at least one year of continuous employment in the same or similar positions outside the competitive service
- Supervisors, managers, and human resources professionals in the U.S. Postal Service with at least one year of current continuous service in the same or similar positions
- Employees in the excepted service without preference eligibility who are not serving a probationary or trial period under an initial appointment pending conversion to the competitive service
- Employees in the excepted service without preference eligibility who have completed two years of current continuous Executive agency service in the same or similar positions, except under a temporary appointment limited to two years or less
Only certain types of personnel actions may be appealed to the Board, including such adverse employer decisions as:
- Removal from service
- Suspensions of more than 14 days
- Reductions in grade or pay
- Denial of increase in salary or grade
- Furloughs of 30 days or less
- Involuntary retirement
- Involuntary transfer
- Unfavorable determination of suitability
- Unfavorable determination of retirement or disability rights
- Claims under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
Additionally, the MSPB can hear certain complaints of discrimination, depending upon whether the personnel action at issue is otherwise appealable to the MSPB.
If you have MSPB rights and your agency takes an appealable action against you, it must provide you with a notice of your rights, including how and where to appeal and the deadlines for doing so. Specific timelines for appealing an adverse employment decision vary from one situation to another, depending mainly on the particular right you are asserting. In general, you should assume that you have 30 days from the date you have been notified of the proposed adverse action affecting your job.
If the matter is not resolved while the case is pending, the appeal will be resolved by an administrative judge after a hearing. Appeals from unfavorable MSPB decisions are filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.
HKM Employment Attorneys are experienced and skilled with the investigation and proof of federal employee claims before the MSPB, and are admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. We can help you avoid the errors that can easily derail an otherwise valid claim. The sooner we become involved with your case, the better we can preserve your rights and advance your interests. Contact us for additional information.