United States Merit Systems Protection Board
|Merit Systems Protection Board|
|Preceding Agency||United States Civil Service Commission|
|Jurisdiction||Federal government of the United States|
|Agency executive||Susan Tsui Grundmann, Chairman|
The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is an independent quasi-judicial agency established to protect federal merit systems against partisan political and other prohibited personnel practices and to ensure adequate protection for federal employees against abuses by agency management. More specifically, when an employee of most Executive Branch agencies is separated from his or her position, or suspended for more than 14 work days, the employee can request that an employee of MSPB conduct a hearing into the matter. In that hearing, the agency will have to prove that the action was warranted and the employee will have the opportunity to present evidence that it was not. A decision of MSPB is binding unless set aside on appeal to federal court. Along with the Office of Personnel Management and the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the MSPB is a successor agency of the United States Civil Service Commission, which was abolished in 1979.
The largest settlement in the 34 year history of the MSPB was for $820,000 in the case of Robert W. Whitmore v. Department of Labor. The Board approved the settlement on June 5, 2013. Whitmore was fired after giving Congressional testimony that OSHA's worplace injury and illness program was deliberately ineffective. Whitmore was represented by noted DC plaintiff's employment lawyer Bob Seldon. http://www.rcseldon-associates.com/ The largest settlement before Whitmore was for $755,000 to former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer, Gary J. Aguirre, for his wrongful termination in 2005. The SEC settled Aguirre's claim on June 29, 2009. In January 2011, the Board ordered the US Park Police to reinstate their former Chief, Teresa Chambers, who had been fired in July 2004 for speaking to the Washington Post about the consequences of Park Police staff shortages. The Board also found her entitled to retroactive pay dating back to July 2004 and her legal costs.
Generally, appeals are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. However, appeals involving claims of discrimination are heard in federal district court.
The Board carries out its statutory mission by:
- Adjudicating employee appeals of personnel actions over which the Board has jurisdiction, such as removals, suspensions, furloughs, and demotions
- Adjudicating appeals of administrative decisions affecting an individual's rights or benefits under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees' Retirement System
- Adjudicating employee complaints filed under the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, and the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act
- Adjudicating cases brought by the Special Counsel, principally complaints of prohibited personnel practices and Hatch Act violations;
- Adjudicating requests to review regulations of the Office of Personnel Management that are alleged to require or result in the commission of a prohibited personnel practice-or reviewing such regulations on the Board's own motion
- Ordering compliance with final Board orders where appropriate
- Conducting studies of the Federal civil service and other merit systems in the Executive Branch to determine whether they are free from prohibited personnel practices
- Directory of MSPB office locations and phone numbers
- MSPB Case Statistics FY 2007-2010 and Annual Reports FY 1979-2010 (privately owned website)
- Gretchen Morgenson, "SEC Settles With a Former Lawyer" The New York Times (June 29, 2010). Retrieved March 1, 2011
- O'Keefe, Ed. "Fired Park Police chief Teresa Chambers ordered reinstated". Washington Post (January 11, 2011). Retrieved March 11, 2011
- 5 U.S.C. § 7703(b)(2)