Know Your Legal Rights as a Title 38 Employee

We pride ourselves on understanding the unique legal landscape and rights for VA Doctors and Nurses.

Are you employed by the Veterans Administration as a physician, dentist, podiatrist, optometrist, nurse, nurse anesthetist, physician assistant, or an expanded-function dental auxiliary (EFDA)? If so, you are a Title 38 employee. As a Title 38 employee, you do not have the same rights as a typical federal employee.

At Pines Federal , we help you understand the specific laws that apply to your profession, counseling you as your reputable VA federal employee attorneys.


Call (888) 898-9902 to schedule a consultation today for your specific situation.


What Makes a Title 38 Employee Different?

Essentially, Title 38 employees are medical or health care providers who work at the VA or National Institutes of Health (NIH) and are appointed under Title 38 of the US Code. Employment laws for Title 38 employees are specific to your profession.

As a Title 38 VA employee, you are treated differently than other federal workers regarding appeals over discipline, pay issues or other adverse personnel decisions, including discriminatory practices.

Examples of Title 38 employees include:

  • Physician
  • Dentist
  • Chiropractor
  • Podiatrist
  • Optometrist
  • Registered nurse
  • Physician’s assistant

Pines Federal spends an extensive amount of time providing careful counsel for individuals whose professions fall under the umbrella of Title 38, particularly because of the peculiar nature of the laws that apply to this category of federal employee.

For example, if you are suspended over 14 days you cannot seek recourse through the MSPB like a typical federal employee; instead you must go through “Boards.” Another difference is that Title 38 employees serve a 2-year probationary period rather than the usual 1-year period.

Other unique laws and requirements for Title 38 employees include:

  • Having staff appointments and privileges handled through a Professional Standards Board.
  • Adverse personnel action appeals are not directed to the MSPB but to the Medical Center Director or to federal district court.
  • Appeals regarding personnel matters may be handled through a Title V collective bargaining agreement.

Administrative Investigations Boards

If you are disciplined as a Title 38 federal employee, the agency will usually conduct an Administrative Investigation Board (AIB). This Board will usually consist of your peers. It will meet and interview people and gather evidence. It is essential to have our VA federal employee attorney present during the AIB in order to assist you with protecting your rights.

The AIB could be the beginning of a suspension as a disciplinary action, a report to your licensing board, or even termination. At Pines Federal , we have a specific talent for representing V.A. employees before the AIB. On a number of occasions our federal employee attorneys have successfully assisted V.A. employees and have had all charges brought against them withdrawn.

Disciplinary Appeals Board Hearings

Should you end up with a negative assessment for the AIB finding, you have the right to appear before a Disciplinary Appeals Board (DAB) in order to make your case. The DAB hearing is held like a formal legal hearing, and legal representation is essential.

When your future employment depends on a DAB, retain the services of our experienced legal counsel for the best possible results. For more than 20 years, our team has served federal employees in Houston and nationwide. Let us guide you through your DAB hearing now.


Request a consultation today by calling our Nationwide federal employee attorneys at (888) 898-9902.

Meet Our Legal Team

Eric Pines, Esq. Attorney
Stephen Goldenzweig, Esq. Attorney
Amanda Moreno, Esq. Attorney
Josh Kahn, Esq. Attorney
Justin Schnitzer, Esq. Attorney
Eve Pachter, Esq. Attorney
Michael Kleinman, Esq. Attorney