Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)
Wrongful termination or discipline can bring your federal career to an abrupt stop. Your hard-earned reputation, salary and development can disappear in an instant. You do not have to take such action without a fight. You can choose to file a claim or appeal before the Merit Systems Protections Board (MSPB). The MSPB hears cases involving adverse employment actions against most federal employees.Cases Brought Before the MSPB
Under the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA), the MSPB has the authority to hear appeals of agency actions from nearly all federal agencies for personnel-related matters, including:
- Reductions in grade
- Reductions in pay
- Denials of disability retirement benefits
- Whistleblower retaliation
- USERRA claims
The MSPB headquarters are located in Washington, D.C. You can also find MSPB field offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Arlington, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, New York and Denver. The federal employment law attorney you work with can help you understand which office to file your appeal with. In general, the office closest to you has geographic jurisdiction over you and is the first place to go with your review request.The MSPB Hearing Process
The first appeal you file will find its way to an administrative law judge (ALJ). That judge will review your claim and all supporting evidence, which may include statements made by you in a personal appearance hearing. From there, the ALJ will make an initial decision, either in support of the agency’s decision or in support of your claim. If we are unhappy with the ALJ’s decision, we can request that the full board in Washington, D.C. review that initial decision. If the full board’s final decision is not in support of your appeal, we can take your case all the way to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.We Regularly Represent Clients Before the MSPB
The one thing you will benefit greatly from if you work with one of our federal employment lawyers at The Bell Law Group, is that we each have significant experience representing clients before the MSPB. We know the nuances involved in these particular hearings and we know the judges. Our knowledge helps us to prepare cases in the best light possible and to frame our arguments in a way that will connect with the judges that will hear our cases.
The mission of the MSPB is to protect employees from abuses by Management, and The Bell Law Group ensures that each client has zealous representation in protecting them from these abuses.
Within the MSPB, The Bell Law Group handles cases involving:
- Suspensions over 14 days
- Disability Retirement Actions (FERS and CSRS)
- Involuntary Retirements and/or Resignations
- Involuntary Transfers
- Actions resulting in Reduced Compensation (Downgrades)
- Unfavorable Suitability Determinations
- IRA Appeals (Whistleblower Retaliation)
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) claims
It is important to contact a knowledgeable attorney who has experience with the unique procedural rules in the MSPB. The Bell Law Group will present your case in a way that will give you the highest chance for success.
Jon Bell has tried many cases at the Merit Systems Protection Board. Due to his unique trial skills, he had gained the utmost respect from the Judges, which will add credibility to your case. The firm has been handling these cases for many years.
In a recent trial, after Mr. Bell’s performance, the Judge “warned” the Agency Representative that he is “leaning” towards finding for the Federal Employee and “recommended” the Agency engage in settlement discussions. The Agency quickly settled and after the Trial, the Judge came off the bench and complimented Mr. Bell’s presentation of his case.
A majority of the cases the firm has handled at the MSPB involved Federal Employees who were removed, wherein the employees were ultimately returned to Federal Service and awarded attorney’s fees. The firm takes great pride in these outcomes. In a recent case, a Federal Employee was removed for allegedly “stealing time” by leaving work two hours early each day before his shift ended. The Agency obtained video surveillance as evidence. Throughout discovery and depositions, the Agency refused to offer any settlement. Approximately one week before trial, the Agency caved in and offered the Employee their job back plus attorney’s fees and the employee settled a 30 day suspension. It was with great pleasure that we were able to save his pension, salary and livelihood.
In representing Federal Employees, the firm does not take these cases lightly. During the time we are fighting the MSPB matter, often client was removed and out of work. We understand the stress and hardship being out of work causes, and we spend our clients money very carefully. We do whatever it takes to place our clients in the best position to successfully return to work while being careful not to engage in practices designed to simply drive up the costs for clients, unlike other firms, who put profits before people. Call for a free consultation today with The Bell Law Group.About the Merit Systems Protection Board
The MSPB (Merit Systems Protection Board) was established as part of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), and was set in place to protect Federal Employees from inappropriate or unfair actions by the Executive branch agencies where they are employed. The MSPB ensures that agencies adhere to nine Merit System Principles, holding them accountable for abuse of these principles.
With a purpose of achieving an effective, efficient work force from all segments of society, with fairness in selection, equitable salaries and advancement based solely on one’s professional qualifications and performance. The Merit System Principles require that all decisions are made solely on merit, and without regard to an individual’s gender, race, religion, national origin, marital status, age, or handicapping condition.
The MSPB has been entitled with adjudicating power, meaning that the CSRA empowered the MSPB to settle legal disputes and appeals within its jurisdiction, and its decisions are legally binding. As a Federal Employee, you have the right to engage in discovery and request a hearing with the MSPB if you believe you have been treated unfairly. The Bell Law Group handles cases involving removals, suspensions over 14 days, Disability Retirement actions (FERS and CSRS), involuntary retirements and/or resignations, involuntary transfers, actions resulting in reduced compensation, unfavorable suitability determinations, IRA appeals (whistleblower retaliation), and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) claims.
A Federal Employee’s due process according to the CSRA includes notice, charges against the employee, an opportunity to respond (verbally and in writing), representation by counsel, and a written decision by an MSPB administrative judge. You have the right to appeal the decision according to the law, and the agency may petition the Board for review. The process is complicated, and each step is reviewed carefully by the MSPB, so the counsel of an experienced attorney will give you the strongest possible chance for an outcome in your favor.Contact Our Federal Employment Law Firm for a Free Consultation
If you believe your agency wrongfully took action against you that has negatively impacted your career, reach out to our national law firm. With offices in Washington, D.C., New York and Miami, we are available to represent federal employees located anywhere in the country. Call us today at 855-JON-BELL or contact our federal employment law firm online to schedule your free consultation. We are here to aggressively represent your rights before the Merit Systems Protections Board.