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filing mspb appeal

Have you been the target of a long suspension, demotion, or removal action?

If so, then you most likely have an opportunity to file an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

Participating in the MSPB appeal process is one of many rights you enjoy as a federal employee.

This appeal provides you the opportunity to contest a personnel action taken against you by your employer. 

Filing an MSPB appeal is a great option if you think your employer acted against you for unlawful or unfair reasons.

On the other hand, filing an MSPB appeal takes ample amounts of time and planning. Many times, you may just not know what to do.

This article will help you evaluate several relevant factors that can assist you with deciding your next steps.

However, your best course of action is to contact an outstanding federal employment attorney like those found at the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing PLLC.

An Overview of the MSPB Appeal Process

The first step in your decision-making process should be to understand the MSPB appeal procedures. The appeal process begins when your agency levies an adverse action against you.

The phrase “adverse action” is a legal term of art that refers to any of the following:

  • A suspension of more than 14 days;
  • Removal from the federal service;
  • A furlough of fewer than 30 days; and
  • A loss of rank, position, or pay. 

The disciplinary process begins when you receive a notice of proposed disciplinary action.

However, your MSPB appeal timeline starts when you receive a decision letter from your agency, and it affects the adverse action.

In most cases, you have 30 days to appeal the disciplinary action to the MSPB. 

If you choose to file an appeal, you can opt to receive a hearing before an administrative judge.

During this hearing, your employer will have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that you carried out the alleged misconduct.

At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to call witnesses, produce favorable evidence, and cross-examine your employer’s witnesses.

The law also grants you the right to receive legal representation throughout the entire appeal process. 

How to File an MSPB Appeal

Another relevant factor to consider is the difficulty of actually filing an MSPB appeal. You can file an MSPB appeal by using the Board’s e-Appeal portal.

Alternatively, you can complete and file an MSPB appeal form by mail or in person. However, we generally recommend that federal employees use the e-Appeal portal.

In addition to being quicker and more efficient, this portal provides you with some minimal guidance on how to submit a successful appeal.

Whatever path you choose, it’s vital you include all the information required under federal regulations. If you omit any of this information, then the Board will likely dismiss your appeal on procedural grounds. 

Once you file your MSPB appeal, the agency will provide you with an acknowledgment order.

From there, you will have an initial status conference with the administrative judge to discuss things like settlement, discovery, and the hearing date. 

Can I Represent Myself in an MSPB Appeal?

Yes. Nothing stops you from acting as your own representative. However, we recommend that you obtain legal counsel for several reasons.

For one, it’s very difficult to navigate the MSPB’s regulations on your own. By contrast, most federal employment attorneys have years of experience representing clients before the MSPB.

That means they know every twist and turn of the process.

Another reason why you should obtain legal counsel is because they can apply their specialized legal training to effectively present your case before the MSPB judge.

This maximizes the chances of a successful appeal, which will protect your career and reputation. Finally, having an attorney handle your case helps reduce your stress and workload. 

Still Not Sure Whether You Should File an Appeal? Contact Us for a Free Initial Consultation.

At the end of the day, it’s always better to file an MSPB appeal rather than stay quiet.

Even if you believe you deserved the adverse action, an appeal before the MSPB may reveal that your employer acted for unfair or discriminatory reasons. 

If you’re on the fence about filing an MSPB appeal, you should obtain legal counsel right away.

As mentioned earlier, you have only approximately 30 days to file. So act quickly to make sure that you are making the right choice. 

Here at the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing PLLC, our top priority is protecting federal employees.

We understand the overwhelming sacrifice that public servants make for their country. Because of that, we want you to be fully aware of your rights and legal options.

At your initial consultation with us, we’ll review your case with you so you can make the right choice. Contact us today to set up a free initial consultation and get the legal advice you need.

Author Photo

Aaron Wersing, Attorney at Law

Aaron Wersing is the founder of the Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing. Mr. Wersing graduated from the Georgia State University College of Law with a Doctorate in Jurisprudence and was the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award. Mr. Wersing previously attended the University of Georgia, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting. Mr. Wersing is an active member of his local community. Mr. Wersing acts as a volunteer attorney with Houston Volunteer Lawyers, the pro bono legal aid organization of the Houston Bar Association. He is also a member of professional legal organizations such as the National Employment Lawyers Association and the American Inns of Court. To reach Aaron for a consultation, please call him at (833) 833-3529.

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