Maryland MSPB Process

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If you are facing a possible demotion, suspension, or worse in your federal job, you may have certain rights within the associated Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) claims process. Asserting those rights as you appeal an adverse employment action could be complicated without legal assistance, though, so getting help from a skilled federal employment lawyer may be wise.

You likely have a great deal at stake in your federal career, so do not waste valuable time trying to sort out the complex Maryland MSPB process on your own. Get the help of a skilled legal professional from the Spiggle Law Firm with making informed decisions about protecting and preserving your career and your rights.

The Basics of the MSPB

The Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) is a quasi-judicial body created by the federal Civil Service Reform Act. This law establishes the federal civil service merit system as well as specific due process rights for federal government employees. Among these is the right for government workers to challenge actions that affect their employment.

Any employee facing an adverse action such as termination, suspension, or demotion has the right to appeal that action with the MSPB. With the help of an attorney who understands the intricacies of the MSPB process in Maryland, you could work to preserve essential workplace rights and make sure the government sticks to the rules when taking such action against you.

The MSPB Appeals Process

Federal employees in Maryland have the right to seek review of any adverse employment action before an MSPB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).  The MSPB process begins with filing an appeal with the Board, the deadline for which is 30 days after the effective date of the adverse action in question. You should note that failure to comply with this time limit or other legal requirements can mean losing critical legal rights.

While filing such an appeal on time secures your right to an appeal hearing, there are numerous additional steps to the process. These range from the employing agency’s submission of its response to the appeal, to status conferences and pre-hearing submissions of documents and witness lists.

During the appeal process, the parties may engage in discovery and make requests for documents, information, data, videos, and other items that may be relevant to the case. An experienced attorney in Maryland could use this portion of the MSPB process to advance your case and provide opportunities for a favorable outcome. Depending on a case’s complexity, this pre-hearing proceedings can take a few months to a year or more.

During and After the Hearing

The MSPB hearing itself will typically last one to two days, depending on the number of witnesses involved and other factors. During the hearing, you and the agency that employed you each have the opportunity for an opening statement and to examine or cross-examine witnesses. At the ALJ’s discretion, the parties will also either present closing arguments, either orally or in writing.

Once the ALJ concludes a hearing, they will issue a written decision, usually several weeks later. Either party could file a further appeal called a Petition for Review within 35 days of receiving the ALJ’s decision if they disagree with the judge’s assessment.

Once that process is exhausted, a party may be able to seek review in federal court or with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The nature of the case will determine where this final appeal must proceed.

Getting Professional Help with the MSPB Process in Maryland

When a federal employee in Maryland seeks help with a workplace concern, they should make certain that they hire a qualified legal representative. While no lawyer can guarantee a particular result, a knowledgeable advocate could explain potential outcomes and help you pursue the most advantageous result the law allows, as well as lay the groundwork for a potentially more effective appeal at a later stage. For more information about the Maryland MSPB process and how a federal employment lawyer could help, click here to use our free online case review tool.