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Appealing to the Board

Washington D.C. Law Firm for Appealing to the Merit Systems Protection Board


When your employer is the federal government, you’re protected against discrimination by a few different statutes. At times, personnel actions may need to be taken that adversely impact employees, but these actions should not be in violation of the laws that protect against arbitrary treatment. Many federal employees are eligible to appeal personnel actions that impact them to the United States Merit Systems Protection Board under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA). If you need to appeal to the Board, you should call respected Washington D.C. federal sector employment attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti. Federal sector discrimination is a highly specialized area of law, and it’s important to seek knowledgeable legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected.

Appealing to the Board

The Merit Systems Protection Board is a bipartisan independent agency of the federal government’s Executive branch that is authorized to hear certain appeals of agency actions. However, not all personnel actions can be appealed to the Board.

Your particular circumstances will dictate how and whether you’ll be able to appeal certain actions to the Board according to applicable laws and regulations. Employees able to appeal to the Board when they’ve completed one year of current continuous service that is not considered temporary employment typically include:

  • Employees in competitive service,
  • Postal service supervisors, managers and staff engaged in personnel work,
  • Veterans preference-eligible employees,
  • Excepted service employees when certain conditions are met.
Types of Appealable Actions

Various statutes, regulations and case law govern what types of actions can be appealed and the procedures that should be used. Appeals may involve matters such as reductions in grade or pay, removals, suspensions that last longer than 14 days, furloughs that are 30 days or less; performance-based removals or reductions in grade; denials of salary increase within a grade; reduction-in-force actions; denials of restoration or reemployment rights; and certain terminations of probationary employees.

How to Appeal

If an agency takes an appealable action against you, the agency needs to give you:

  • Notice of the time limits for appeal,
  • The address of the appropriate regional or field office where you can file the appeal,
  • A copy of Board regulations and an appeal form,
  • A notice of your rights related to agency grievance procedure,
  • A notice of your right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency tasked with handling employment discrimination complaints.

Since you may not be told all of your potential rights, it is crucial to talk to our lawyers as soon as you suspect the action against you is appealable.

The appeal needs to be filed in writing, either by mail, fax, personal delivery, or the electronic filing procedure, with the appropriate regional or field office. Filing an appeal must occur within 30 calendar days of the effective date of the action. Alternatively, the appeal must be filed within 30 calendar days from your receipt of the agency’s decision assuming the date of receipt is later that the effective date. When the agency in question agrees with you in writing, you may be able to submit the dispute to an alternative dispute resolution process, and then you’ll have a 60 day filing limit. Some appeals are subject to other time limits, which makes it crucial to talk to our lawyers as soon as possible so appropriate steps can be taken for the appeal.

When your appeal is timely filed, you are typically entitled to a hearing before an administrative judge on the merits of your case. At the hearing, our lawyers can present evidence, including witness testimony. The agency will need to justify the action it took, and if it meets its burden of proof, the Board will need to decide in favor of the agency. However, we may be able to show there was a harmful error in its procedures or that another affirmative defense, such as discrimination, applies.

So long as it has jurisdiction, MSPB has authority to hear claims of discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, along with claims based on political affiliation and marital status. It is empowered to award remedies for these.

Hire Our Washington D.C. Law Firm to Handle Your Appeal

If you believe you might need to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board, you should discuss your situation with our experienced Washington D.C. federal sector discrimination attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti. Mr. Famiglietti represents federal sector employees with grievances in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Complete our online form or call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880.

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