ATTN FEDERAL EMPLOYEES: Attorney Jay Stafford Discusses Whether Losing Your Security Clearance Means Losing Your Government Job in FEDweek
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MSPB Attorney Representing Federal Workers Nationwide

If you are (or were) a federal employee and have been removed from service or faced other adverse employment action, you may have the right to appeal the government’s decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The MSPB is an independent agency of the Executive Branch, and one of its primary roles is to hear appeals from current and former federal employees who have experienced terminations, suspensions, and demotions. Jay Stafford and his team are experienced MSPB attorneys who have helped numerous federal employees file successful appeals nationwide.

The MSPB hears appeals involving terminations, suspensions, and demotions occurring under a broad range of circumstances. This includes terminations, suspensions, and demotions based on federal workers’ alleged conduct or performance. If you have been disciplined due to allegations such as theft, misuse of government property, insubordination, falsification, lack of candor, or failure to follow instructions, you should not simply accept the government’s decision. Losing your position with the federal government can have drastic and long-term consequences, and you owe it to yourself and your family to stand up for your legal rights.

Can You File an Appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board?

Many current and former federal government employees who have experienced adverse employment action will be entitled to file appeals with the MSPB. Our team represents clients in cases involving all matters falling within the MSPB’s jurisdiction. This includes matters such as:

  • Denial of restoration or reemployment rights
  • Furlough of fewer than 30 days
  • Military discrimination cases under USERRA and the VEOA
  • Misconduct and performance-based disciplinary action
  • Suspension from federal service for more than 14 days
  • Probationary termination
  • Reductions in force (RIFs)
  • Reduction in grade based on unacceptable performance under a performance improvement plan
  • Removal from federal service
  • Retirement determinations under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS)
  • Suitability disqualifications
  • Termination of members of the Senior Executive Service (SES)
  • Whistleblower retaliation

These are just some of the most common examples. If you are (or were) a federal employee and you have been terminated, suspended, or demoted for any reason, you should consult with an attorney. We represent federal workers nationwide in MSPB appeals, and you can contact us to arrange an initial consultation 24/7.

Your Rights as a Federal Employee During an MSPB Matter

As an employee of the federal government, you are entitled to rights and protections not afforded to other workers. If the government has violated your rights, this could entitle you to legal remedies in your MSPB appeal. As a federal employee, your legal rights include:

  • The Right to a Fair Investigation – Before the government takes adverse employment action against you based upon misconduct or poor performance; you have the right to an investigation. While facing an investigation can be scary, it is an important part of the process for ensuring that you are not terminated, suspended, or demoted unfairly. The federal government must conduct its investigation in accordance with all pertinent laws and regulations, and, as the subject of a federal employment-related investigation, you have the right to play an active role in the process.
  • The Right to Notification – You have the right to receive notification before the federal government takes adverse employment action against you. If you did not receive adequate notification, this may amount to a due process violation, and it may entitle you to reinstatement or other remedies.
  • The Right to Respond Before the Federal Government Takes Action – You have the right to respond before the federal government takes adverse employment action against you. This is more than a procedural formality. If you were not afforded the opportunity to respond, or if the government did not seriously consider your response, this could also provide grounds for an MSPB appeal.  
  • The Right to Contest Adverse Employment Action – Finally, even if the federal government affords you the due process to which you are legally entitled, you still have the right to contest your termination, suspension, or demotion on other grounds. There are numerous potential grounds for challenging adverse employment action as a federal employee, and Jay Stafford and his team can help you effectively assert any and all grounds you have available.

What To Expect When You File an MSPB Appeal

Filing an MSPB appeal is a unique process. As a federal employee, it is important to know what you can expect along the way. Here is a brief overview of the MSPB appeal process:

1. Filing an MSPB Appeal

The MSPB appeal process begins when you file Form 185 with the agency. Typically, you must initiate your appeal within 30 days of receiving notice of your termination, suspension, or demotion. It is extremely important to complete Form 185 appropriately and file it with the correct MSPB office. These are both steps with which our team can help.  

2. The Discovery Phase

Once you file Form 185, your appeal will enter the discovery phase. This is when your MSPB attorney gets to request records, written answers, and deposition testimony from relevant federal government employees. The federal government’s attorneys may request these from you as well, and you will need to carefully prepare your responses with your MSPB attorney’s help.

3. Pre-Hearing Matters

In many cases, the federal government will agree to settle employees’ claims prior to their MSPB hearings. If settling is in your best interests, attorney Jay Stafford will work to negotiate a favorable settlement as efficiently as possible. If the government is not willing to offer a fair settlement, Mr. Stafford will continue to fight for a just result at the MSPB.

4. MSPB Hearing and Resolution

The final stage of an MSPB appeal is the MSPB hearing. An administrative law judge (ALJ) with the MSPB will hear the evidence from both sides and then render a decision. If you are satisfied with the decision, you can accept the decision as to the final resolution of your case. If you are not satisfied, you can challenge the ALJ’s decision in court.

Schedule a Confidential Consultation with The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

If you need to know more about the MSPB appeal process, we encourage you to contact us promptly. To schedule a confidential consultation with MSPB attorney Jay Stafford, call 410-514-6099 or request an appointment online now. We serve clients nationwide, including North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland.