Virginia Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) Claims
Federal employees deserve fairness and due process when they face discipline at work. Even minor disciplinary issues can lead to more significant problems down the road. In severe cases, they can escalate and lead to demotion or termination. In many instances, employees may be able to dispute disciplinary actions by filing a claim with the federal Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).
If you have concerns about your federal employee rights, you owe it to yourself and your family to get solid legal advice from a lawyer who regularly represents federal employees in Virginia Merit Systems Protection (MSPB) claims. A skilled federal employee attorney from the Spiggle Law Firm could help you understand your rights and could champion your case.
What is the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)?
The MSPB is a federal agency operated by the executive branch of the U.S. government responsible for enforcing the federal civil service merit systems. This agency has jurisdiction over certain types of employment claims for federal sector workers, including:
- Appeals of adverse actions such as termination, suspension, demotions, or pay reductions
- Appeals relating to rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA), and various other federal statutes
- Decisions relating to federal employee retirement systems
The MSPB does not handle discrimination cases except when they also involve merit system issues. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has primary responsibility for employment discrimination claims.
Filing Merit Systems Protection Board Claims
MSPB appeals of adverse employment actions must be filed within 30 days of the effective date of the disputed employment action. Veterans Administration (VA) employees have a shorter ten-day deadline. Other types of claims such as whistleblower, VEO, and USERRA appeals have different deadlines.
Filing an MSPB appeal involves submitting proper forms along with the notice of the decision being appealed. The claims appeal could be submitted electronically or physically at the regional Merit Systems Protection Board office for a Virginia employee’s duty location.
What to Expect During the MSPB Claims Process
Filing an appeal begins a process that leads to an appeal hearing with an MSPB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). After you file a claim, the Virginia Merit Systems Protection Board would issue an order establishing time limits for initial disclosures, settlement talks, discovery, and pre-hearing motions. Complying with these deadlines can be vital to keeping your case on track.
When the hearing takes place, the employee and the government have the opportunity to present documents, witnesses, and other evidence. After the hearing, the ALJ issues a ruling in the case.
If the employee wins, the agency has 30 days to appeal the decision. If it does not appeal, the ALJ would order the agency to correct the adverse action that the employee appealed and return them to the situation that they were in before the action. The ALJ may also award back pay, lost benefits, and other appropriate relief, which may include attorney’s fees and costs.
If the employee does not win, they have the right to file a further appeal with the full MSPB within 30 days after the ALJ’s order. The employee may also seek review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. A knowledgeable attorney from the Spiggle Law Firm could further explain what you should expect from the Virginia MSPB claims process.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney for Virginia MSPB Claims
Experienced federal employment lawyers regularly appear before the MSPB and litigate cases in federal court, so they understand the processes and rules that apply to Merit System cases. Workers who try to master this area of law without help may find themselves at a severe disadvantage against experienced government attorneys.
If you have received notice of disciplinary action, your federal career may be at stake. A qualified lawyer from the Spiggle Law Firm could help you understand possible outcomes of your case and work with you to keep your career on track. Call today or use our free case review tool for more information about getting legal guidance with Virginia Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) claims.