Great ServiceI highly recommend Melville Johnson! He truly cares and he gets results. I wouldn’t go anywhere else!
Good advice and we wonMelville Johnson took on my claim and immediately put me at ease with a clear demonstration of their expertise with EEO law.
Best Around!Melville Johnson PC has the best team of experts for handling litigation and lawsuits in their areas of expertise. I definitely recommend this law firm. They are the best!
Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) Attorneys
If you are a federal employee dealing with a workplace grievance, you’ve come to the right place. For over a quarter century the MSPB attorneys at Melville Johnson PC have been vigorously defending federal employees at the agency level, before Merit Systems Protection Board Administrative Law Judges, the full three-member MSPB panel, and all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. We are here to fight for you!
As a federal employee you are entitled to numerous rights and protections under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. The Merit Systems Protection Board oversees these rights both substantively and procedurally, which include the ability to appeal a variety of adverse personnel actions to the MSPB such as wrongful terminations, suspensions, discipline and demotion, sexual harassment, reductions in force, rejection of disability benefits, retaliation for filing a whistleblower claim, discriminatory and unfair treatment, and more.
Having defended thousands of federal employees against all federal agencies from coast-to-coast for over twenty-five years, the MSPB attorneys at Melville Johnson PC are about as knowledgeable as they come in all aspects of Merit Systems Protection Board and Federal Employment Law, and we are here to provide federal employees with the rigorous representation you’ll need.
Wrongful discipline or termination from a federal employment position will no doubt mark a time of tension and strain in your life. Having skilled, experienced MSPB attorneys by your side who know the MSPB process and can guide you though it will ease much of the burden. If you have a federal employment law issue, we encourage you to fill out the form to your right or call our firm today for a case evaluation.
Below we provide general information, plus questions and answers, about Merit Systems Protection Board Law and your rights as a federal employee. Because this is general information, we highly recommend contacting one of our MSPB attorneys to get information specific to your case. Just give us a call at (888) 594-0424 or fill out the form to your right. We will be in touch promptly!
What Is the Merit Systems Protection Board and How Can It Help Me?
The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is an independent, quasi-judicial agency in the Executive Branch which serves as the guardian of federal merit system principles. More specifically, federal employees have distinctive rights and protections under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, which include the right to appeal a variety of adverse personnel actions to the MSPB court. The Board consists of three members appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, and is responsible for:
- Adverse actions such as removals and termination, suspensions of 15 days or more, furloughs of 30 days or less, demotions, and certain reductions in pay.
- Administrative decisions affecting an individual’s rights or benefits under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), and administrative decisions under the Federal Employees’ Retirement (FERS) System appealed from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
- Appeals filed under the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and the Veterans’ Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA).
- Cases brought by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). These include complaints of Prohibited Personnel Practices (PPP), Whistleblower Actions, Corrective Actions, and Hatch Act violations.
- Requests to review regulations of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) alleged to require or result in the commission of a prohibited personnel practice.
- Ordering compliance with final MSPB orders and settlement agreements where appropriate.
Who Can File an Appeal Before the MSPB?
Not all federal employees are eligible to file appeals before the MSPB, and not all who can appeal to the MSPB are federal employees. In some instances, applicants for certain non-political appointments who do not get a job because of a federally-protected or state-protected characteristic may be able to appeal that failure to hire. Political appointees are often excluded.
Employees who may appeal adverse actions to the MSPB include:
- Employees in the competitive service who have completed a 1-year probationary or trial period and those who have completed one year of current continuous service under other than a temporary appointment limited to 1 year or less;
- Veterans with at least one year of employment in the same position as (or a similar position to) the one from which they were fired;
- Supervisors, managers, and personnel-based employees of the U.S. Postal Service with at least one year of current continuous service; and
- Certain service employees with at least two years of current continuous service in the position from which they were fired.
If you think you may have an MSPB case, we recommend giving us a call or filling out the form to your right. We’ll get in touch so you can speak with one of our MSPB attorneys about the specifics of your case and whether you qualify to file an MSPB appeal.
How Do You File an MSPB Appeal?
All motions for appeal before the MSPB must be in writing and signed by the applicant. When sending appeal applications, you can mail, fax, hand-deliver, e-file, send them via overnight delivery to the Board’s regional or field office servicing the area where you live (for final retirement or suitability decisions). Additionally, you can file at the office servicing the area where the adverse employment action occurred.
To successfully appeal an adverse employment action, you’ll want to get moving quickly. You need to file your appeal within 30 calendar days of the effective date of your termination or demotion. This deadline extends to the nearest workday if the 30-day deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday. If you submit your appeal via the e-filing service, the “sent” date is the submission date. However, for appeals mailed or sent via overnight delivery, the postmark date serves as the submission date.
In addition to this general 30-day deadline, some types of MSPB appeals have different deadlines. This is one of many reasons we believe it’s important to have knowledgeable MSPB attorneys to work with you on your case. Even if you’re confident in your ability to review deadlines and other relevant information on the MSPB website, you may find there are additional wrinkles applicable to your specific case. Melville Johnson PC’s MSPB attorneys can help.
What Happens During an MSPB Hearing?
Not all MSPB appeals hold in-person hearings, however all applicants have the right to request a hearing on the merits. This hearing is similar to a traditional civil court hearing. Applicants present evidence and solicit witness testimony to demonstrate that an employer’s actions were illegal or violated federal regulations. If circumstances require and all parties agree, you may be able to have your hearing by telephone or video conference instead of an in-person proceeding.
If you waive your right to appeal, the case will proceed on the written record. This means the MSPB may only consider the evidence in the pleadings; extraneous information, even if otherwise relevant, will not be subject to consideration.
What Will You Need to Prove In Order to Prevail During an MSPB Appeal?
Before your appeal can start, you must prove the MSPB has jurisdiction over your claim. You must also prove you submitted your filing within the 30-day deadline. Additionally, applicants must prove any affirmative defenses you may raise in response to your former employer’s arguments.
Conversely, your employer must prove there was justification for the adverse employment action. The employer must also prove that no harmful error, prohibited practice, or unlawful action took place in the procedures they used to take the disciplinary action.
What Remedies are Available From an MSPB Appeal?
There are a wide variety of remedies available to federal employees after a successful appeal before the MSPB. Potential remedies include reinstatement of prior employment (or a promotion), back pay dating back to your original termination date. They also include reimbursement of any medical expenses or lost benefits such as retirement matches, damages for emotional distress, and more. These remedies can go a long way toward making a terminated employee whole again.
Melville Johnson PC: MSPB Attorneys Representing Federal Employees For Over A Quarter Century
At Melville Johnson, it is our mission to ensure every federal employee has the right to due process. We understand that any disciplinary action you receive now can influence your employment for years to come, and we take every case we handle seriously and with the utmost care.
As soon as you learn that your employer is instituting disciplinary procedures against you, or initiating an investigation, we recommend consulting with one of our attorneys. It will be crucial to have an experienced lawyer fighting alongside you and preserving your rights throughout the process, ensuring you get a fair hearing and your story is heard at the MSPB. To start the process, please give us a call at (888) 594-0424, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the form on your right and we will follow through promptly. We look forward to working with you!
The MSPB and Federal Employment Law Attorneys at Melville Johnson PC handle cases against all federal agencies throughout the United States.
If you are a federal employee dealing with an impending disciplinary action, wrongful termination, suspension or demotion, reduction in force, rejection of or application for disability benefits, retaliation for filing a whistleblower claim, discriminatory or unfair treatment, or any other federal workplace grievance, be sure to contact us today!
Best Law Firm
I hired the Melville Johnson P.C. law firm in January 2015 to represent my Merit Systems Protection Board case against the Department of the Army…. I worked closely with the firm for about a 6 month period. I was awarded a nice settlement in my favor. Billing was transparent, communication was crystal clear, and I am 100% satisfied. Melville Johnson P.C. has the best team of experts for handling litigation and lawsuits in their areas of expertise. I definitely recommend this law firm. They are the best!
— S. S.
Types of MSPB Cases We Handle
The MSPB Attorneys at Melville Johnson PC offer caring, sensitive, professional legal representation and have years of combined experience filing Petitions for Review to the MSPB Board and bringing cases in front of Administrative Law Judges. Below is a brief summary of the types of cases we handle:
When the court issues a decision, you may have the right as a federal employee to appeal the decision and disciplinary action in MSPB (Merit Systems Protection Board) court.
At Melville Johnson, P.C., our federal discipline lawyers have years of combined experience with the MSPB and can support you throughout the process
A federal agency can also use Reduction In Force procedures when an employee is forced to downsize due to reorganization, transfer of function, or shortage of funds.
At Melville Johnson, P.C., our attorneys are highly skilled in evaluating the evidence in an RIF case and determining how to defend you in front of an Administrative Judge.
There are numerous rules and regulations regarding federal removal which must be adhered to, depending on the federal agency and the employee's position.
We represent employees in all 50 states and government agencies, and are glad to offer legal consultations to government employees dealing with removal from their position.
A failure to adhere to these rules could result in the suspension being overturned by the MSPB court. If you are dealing with a federal suspension, our attorneys can help.
This could be due to a Federal Reduction In Force (RIF),federal discipline, removal, suspension, discrimination, or a number of other reasons. At Melville Johnson, P.C., our attorneys assist clients with their Merit Systems Protection Board appeals from beginning to end.