The Merit Systems Protection Board, or MSPB, is an independent federal agency that has jurisdiction over several federal employment matters, including:
The Federal Practice Group represents federal employees before the MSPB in all matters over which the MSPB has jurisdiction. While the MSPB was designed to protect you and your federal career, the laws and procedures are complex and can be confusing. It is very important that you have an experienced attorney in your corner to aggressively and professionally represent you before the MSPB.
Finding the right attorney to guide you through the Merit Systems Protection Board appeal process is a big decision. You may feel uncertain about the next step, and you need an experienced attorney to walk you through the MSPB appeal process.
Whatever you need, The Federal Practice Group can assist you in protecting your career. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping federal employees with MSPB appeals. We specialize in federal employment law, which means we have an extensive base of knowledge to draw on for your case.
Our attorneys know how daunting it can be to take on the federal government. We also know that you can win against a government agency with the help of an experienced attorney. Think of The Federal Practice Group as your partner who wants to improve your position and ensure that you are never lost during any step of the process.
There are no guarantees in federal employment law, and anyone who tells you otherwise is not telling the truth. However, we can pledge to work by your side and do all that we can to receive the most positive possible outcome. Read on to learn more about what steps you will experience, and what sort of timeline you can expect in an MSPB appeal.
To file an MSPB appeal, we recommend that you use the MSPB’s e-appeal system, which can be accessed through the MSPB’s website at https://e-appeal.mspb.gov/. Upon filing your appeal, the process will begin and jurisdiction will be established.
Once the appeal is filed, the MSPB will assign an Administrative Judge within a matter of days. You will also receive a document entitled “Acknowledgment & Order,” which contains information about the appeal process as well as deadlines for both parties. Some of these deadlines come very quickly, so be sure to pay close attention to every page. In some cases, the MSPB Administrative Judge will also issue what is called an Order to Show Cause, which is issued when the Administrative Judge has a question concerning whether the MSPB has jurisdiction over the appeal. It is very important that you respond to any Order to Show Cause, and you are typically allowed only 10 days to file a response. An Order to Show Cause is always issued in IRA appeals (for whistleblower retaliation), as well as appeals under USERRA and/or VEOA.
In all MSPB cases, the agency is ordered to file what is referred to as the Agency File, which should contain the basic documents relevant to the appeal and a narrative response from the agency’s perspective. The parties will then engage in discovery, in which each party sends the other requests for interrogatory, documents, admissions, and in some cases, notices of deposition. If your agency intends to depose you, The Federal Practice Group can provide you with representation to defend yourself.
The parties usually have only 20 days to respond to each other’s requests, although it is not uncommon that the parties must work out disputes over access to information.
The Administrative Judge will often issue a Hearing Order shortly after discovery begins, setting the deadlines for future procedures . The parties will need to file pre-hearing Statements identifying the issues present in the appeal, the witnesses each party intends to call, and any exhibits a party wants introduced into the record.
The Administrative Judge will then hold a pre-hearing conference during which he or she will identify which witnesses are approved to testify at the hearing and clear up any disputes over what issues must be resolved.
Finally, the appeal will proceed to a hearing, which often takes place at the MSPB’s offices, although it may take place at an agency facility. The hearing will look very much like a trial, and it is open to the public. However, no witnesses are permitted to be present when other witnesses are testifying. Each witness will be asked to take an oath, and a court reporter will transcribe the testimony.
Following the hearing, the Administrative Judge will issue what is called an Initial Decision, which will then become the final Decision unless one of the parties files an appeal by the deadline. The MSPB prides itself on its efficient appeal process. Under MSPB rules, the Administrative Judges are supposed to issue decisions within 120 days of the initial appeal.
If either party is dissatisfied with the Initial Decision, it can file a Petition for Review with the Board itself, which will review the decision for factual or legal errors. Following that, there can be an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the federal circuit, though you may have different rights depending on whether your appeal involved any affirmative defenses of discrimination.
You should understand certain things about misconduct cases to ensure you are treated fairly:
You should also be versed in what performance-based actions may entail:
Federal law can be messy, overwhelming far from intuitive. Having someone by your side who knows the system can make the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful outcome. We draw on our experience to give you the legal and personal support that you need during your appeal.
You will discover many advantages when choosing The Federal Practice Group. These include:
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