Federal employees are protected from unjust and prohibited employer practices under the law. If you experience discrimination, retaliation for speaking against violations, or any other unfair action, you can file an appeal with the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB). The unit, under the executive branch, has the authority to rule in cases of federal employer misconduct.
Much like the private sector, federal organizations have a duty to conduct business in an ethical, honest, and balanced manner. For instance, as an employee, you have the right to file a complaint if an employer discriminates against workers, fails to follow regulatory standards, or poses a direct threat to the public.
An employer cannot legally take retaliatory actions of any kind because an employee speaks out against the individual or the agency. In addition to whistleblowing, cases brought before the MSPB routinely involve general employment practices and long-term suspensions, demotions, wrongful termination, and the denial of raises.
Why People Appeal
Under the right circumstances, your federal employer can take merit-based actions against employees. MSPB cases exceed the normal set of circumstances. Individuals appeal because the actions may prevent them from seeking gainful employment in the future or securing a fair wage. The MSPB handles between 6,000 and 7,000 cases every year.
Pertinent Information About Filing
In most MSPB cases, employees must take action through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or the Office of Special Counsel first. If one of these or another relevant organization does not adequately resolve the case, the employee can file an appeal with the MSPB.
Not every employee can file an appeal with the MSPB. Each action has a particular set of requirements that govern who can file and how. An agency must offer relevant appeals information any time it takes a potentially appealable action against that employee.
Filing Your Appeal
Individuals can file an appeal online, through the mail, or via fax. The MSPB appeals page of the federal website contains the information needed to do so. Each appellant must submit the initial filing within 30 days of the effective date of an action at a local or regional MSPB field office.
Filing the appeal is the first step in the claim process. After processing, the administrative judge will notify the agency of the claim. The judge may request additional evidence and arguments from both parties. While an appellant can represent him or herself during the proceedings, many retain legal counsel.
If your employer treated you unfairly, or if you believe that you have a potentially viable appellate case, contact The Law Offices of Eric L. Pines, PLLC for a free MSPB claims consultation. We can explain your rights and obligations in clear, accessible language and give you the strategic guidance you need to have peace of mind.