Located in Washington DC, Serving the Entire Nation
If you face suspension of more than 14 days, a demotion in grade, or termination for alleged misconduct or unacceptable performance, we can help you file a compelling appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).
Whether the adverse disciplinary action is really due to retaliation for whistleblowing, discrimination, or another Prohibited Personnel Practice, our MSPB attorneys can help you protect your rights and your career against unfair disciplinary actions.
What Is the MSPB?
Although you may have never heard of the Merits Systems Protection Board (MSPB), this independent agency of the executive branch may become one of your only allies if you are penalized in a federal workplace without due cause. The mission statement of the MSPB directly claims that the agency is there to “promote an effective Federal workplace” that does not engage in prohibited practices, such as unfair discrimination. Whenever a federal employee is suspended, demoted, or fired, the MSPB is usually the first group to hear about it.
How Do I File an MSPB Appeal?
Telling the MSPB about your unjust treatment in the federal workplace is only the beginning. What you are actually doing is filing an MSPB appeal that will require the attention of an MSPB Administration Judge. You, with the help of your federal employment law attorney, will need to convince the judge – in rare cases it could actually be an entire panel of MSPB administrators – that your penalty was unnecessary and violated certain employment rules. If it can be proven that a prohibited personnel practice (PPP) did take place, you may be able to both reverse the outcome of the penalty and create an employment lawsuit for compensation.
To file an MSPB appeal, you’ll need to visit the e-appeal online website and use the interactive application. The website provides information regarding how to properly complete your application and can help walk you through your claim. There is also an appeal form you can download if you prefer to complete a paper application instead. Your application can be submitted by mail, fax, or delivery. The MSPB doesn’t accept applications sent through email.
When Should I File?
In many cases, your appeal needs to be filed within 30 days of the effective date of the action or 30 days after you’ve received the agency’s decision. The filing of an appeal may be extended if you and the agency agree to resolve the dispute through another resolution process. In this case, the extension is usually 60 days.
IRA, USERRA, & VEOA Appeals
Individual Right of Action (IRA) appeals made by whistleblowers must be filed within 65 days of the notice advising that corrective action will not be sought. Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA) appeals do not have time limits for when to file. Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) appeals must be filed with the Secretary of Labor and have a 60-day time frame to resolve the matter at hand. After the 61st day, you can file an appeal with the MSPB.
What Happens After I’ve Filed My Appeal?
The Administrative Judge (AJ) assigned to your case will issue an Acknowledgment Order to you and the agency. The order tells the agency to submit a statement explaining the reasons why the personnel action or decision is being challenged. Questions the AJ might have can be brought up later during the adjudication of the appeal. After the hearing, the AJ will issue their initial decision. This decision must explain all material issues of fact and law, summarize the evidence, and resolve any issues of credibility. The Administrative Judge's conclusions of the law and legal reasoning should be detailed as well.
Our MSPB Lawyer Can Help You With Your Appeal
We can help you bring appeals before the MSPB for actions involving:
- Individual Right of Action (IRA) Appeals in Whistleblower retaliation cases
- Involuntary removals
- Involuntary retirements
- OPM denials of disability retirement
- Reductions in pay
- Suspensions lasting more than 14 days
- Unfavorable suitability determinations
- USERRA Claims
- VEO Claims (if you’ve already filed with the Department of Labor)
- Indefinite Suspensions
- Reductions in Pay
- Within Grade Increase Denials
- Unlawful Furloughs
What Doesn't the MSPB Do?
There are many federal employment law roles that the MSPB does not fulfill, for it is a board, not a full judicial agency. It does not hear and rule on discrimination complaints, which is a responsibility reserved for the EEOC; it does not attempt to mediate and end disputes between labor unions and their employees; it does not manage whistleblower cases created by members of the FBI; and so forth. All in all, the MSPB acts as a disciplinary review council for specific cases.
Why Choose Our MSPB Appeal Lawyer?
- Proven MSPB Advocate for 25 Years
- Former federal labor & employment law enforcement agency Vice Chair (ES-IV) and Administrative Judge
- AV® Rating – Top Rating for Ethics & Skill from Martindale-Hubbell®
- 1,000s of Federal Employees Represented Around the World
- Selected for The Wall Street Journal’s “Top Rated Labor & Employment Lawyers”
While you can represent yourself throughout the MSPB appeal process, agencies will be less likely to take your case seriously if you haven’t availed yourself of professional legal representation. If you have an experienced MSPB lawyer on your case, however, your chances of success increase exponentially. Your federal career could be on the line. Get the powerhouse advocacy and hands-on legal advice you need for this complex process. Our MSPB appeals lawyers are ready with the specialized, knowledgeable, and tireless representation you deserve for every stage of the MSPB process.
If you have faced unreasonable discipline or a prohibited personnel practice in your federal employment, we can help you file an appeal with the MSPB and represent you before an MSPB Administrative Judge or the full Board. If you are involved in a prohibited personnel practices (PPP) case, we can also help you file an OSC complaint. We offer the comprehensive legal solutions you need to keep your career on track, defend your reputation, and assert your rights.