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What Is the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)?

Federal employees are required to follow specific requirements as personnel of the U.S. government. When the government believes that an employee failed to follow their requirements as a federal worker, the government may issue a suspension, demotion, termination, retaliation, or other matters.

If a federal employee feels that the government’s disciplinary actions are unfair or wrongful, they may file an appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

What Is the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)?

The Merit Systems Protection Board is an independent, quasi-judicial agency in the Executive branch of the Federal Government that serves as the guardian of Federal merit systems. The Board is made up of three members who are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

Does the Board Hear All Federal Employee Appeals?

No, the MSPB only hears various agency actions, including most appeals previously heard by the Civil Service Commission and appeals arising from new causes of action created by the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA). The Board often hears appeals about the following:

  • Terminations/Removal Actions
  • Demotions
  • Suspensions of more than 14 days
  • Grade or pay reductions
  • Denials of within-grade salary increases
  • Performance-based reductions in grade or pay
  • OPM suitability determinations
  • OPM employment practices
  • USERRA
  • Whistleblower reprisal/retaliation

Qualifications Needed to File an Appeal to the Board

To file an appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board, you must be a federal employee who is in the competitive service who has completed a one-year probationary or trial period, and who has completed one year of current continuous service. Veterans preference-eligible employees with at least one year of continuous employment in the same or similar positions outside the competitive service may also file an appeal to the MSPB.

What You Should Know After Experiencing Disciplinary Action

When your employer takes an appealable action, whether it’s a suspension, demotion, termination, retaliation, or other matters, they must provide you with the following:

  • A notice of the time limits for appealing to the Board
  • The address of the appropriate Board regional or field office for filing the appeal
  • A copy of the Board’s regulations
  • A copy of the Board’s appeal form
  • Notice of any rights concerning the agency grievance procedure or a negotiated grievance procedure
  • Notice of any right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

How Do I File an Appeal with the Board?

To file an appeal with the MSPB, you must send a written request to the Board’s regional or field office servicing the area where your duty station was when the disciplinary action was taken. You must file an appeal within 30 calendar days of the effective date of the auction or within 30 calendar days after the date of receipt of the agency’s decision was made.

Appeals may be filed by mail, facsimile, commercial overnight delivery, personal delivery, or by the Board’s electronic filing procedure.

What If I Miss the Deadline for Filing an Appeal?

If you failed to file an appeal within the 30 day period, you can still file an appeal. However, you must show a good reason for the delay and include supporting evidence. The Administrative Judge will then review your reason and determine whether your late appeal will be approved.

Should I Have a Representative If I File an Appeal?

It is in your best interest to be represented by a law firm that you can trust to protect your rights in your MSPB case. Our federal employee lawyers have served federal employees across the country – providing them with intelligent legal representation. You can depend on Pines Federal to protect your rights as a federal employee.

Contact our federal employment law attorneys today at (888) 898-9902 to schedule a consultation to learn more about filing an appeal to the MSPB.

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