The US Merit Systems Protection Board handles appeals for “adverse actions,” or any kind of disciplinary action against an employee like removal. A removal action is one that formally terminates your employment.
Every federal agency specifies prohibited behaviors of misconduct leading to possible removal. Such misconduct may be criminal, such as sexual harassment, or egregiously falsifying documents, while others may be less obvious, such as taking an absence without leave or insubordination. For some federal employees, behavior outside of work like gambling or arrest may also constitute misconduct.
Employee misconduct investigations are usually carried out by the agency’s inspector general or the internal affairs department. Unfortunately, the goal of these investigations is really to elicit a confession or find contradictory evidence that can be used against you to justify the disciplinary removal action. It is in your best interests to consult an experienced lawyer about an investigation you are undergoing and your legal options for appealing a resulting removal action.
Filing an Appeal
To commence an MSPB appeal, you must file an appeal in writing with the MSPB’s regional office serving the area where your duty station was located at the time of the removal action. An appeal must be filed within 30 calendar days of the date of the action or within 30 calendar days of the date you received the agency's decision, whichever is later.
The agency that made the removal action has the burden of proving that the action was justified. If the agency meets its burden of proof, the MSPB may decide in their favor unless you show that there was a harmful error in the agency's procedures, that the agency decision was based on a prohibited personnel practice, or that the decision was not in accordance with the law. You also have the burden of proving that your appeal is within the MSPB’s jurisdiction and that your appeal was timely filed.
Let a Reputable MSPB Appeals Lawyer Help You Today
You may feel like you have been treated unfairly to have received a removal action. Perhaps the removal feels unjustified, such as if a retaliatory co-worker accuses you of something you didn’t do or if your co-workers are not being held to the same standard of appropriate conduct. In such a case, you have the right to appeal your employer’s removal action.
Whatever stage of the MSPB appeals process you are at, the MSPB lawyers at Pitre & Associates, LLC can help. They have protected several federal employees from removal and suspension and have cultivated a strong reputation for success among clients and other lawyers. The firm provides comprehensive MSPB appeals services and will do its best to protect your employment rights in the face of a removal action.
Schedule a free consultation with Pitre & Associates, LLC to get started today. Do not hesitate to take legal action when you are being threatened with removal.