INITIAL DECISION On July 19, 2019, the appellant timely filed this appeal to contest his removal from the position of Health System Administrator, GS-0670-13, from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA or agency) Chattanooga, Tennessee location, effective July 16, 2019. Appeal File (AF), Tab 1. The Board has jurisdiction over this appeal. 38 U.S.C. § 714; 5 U.S.C. § 7701(b)(1). On October 17, 2019, the appellant withdrew his hearing request and asked for a decision [...]

Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act

On October 26, 2017, the President signed into law the S585 Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act which provides additional protections for federal employee whistleblowers and, inter alia,  requires that agencies take expedited disciplinary action against managers who are found to have retaliated against whistleblowers.

Accelerated Removal Procedures for VA Executives Held Unconstitutional

In Helman v. Dept of Veterans Affairs, No. 2015-3086, issued May 9, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the accelerated removal procedures of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act under which Ms. Helman was terminated constituted an unconstitutional delegation of authority to an administrative judge of the Merit Systems Protection Board in violation of the U.S. Constitution's Appointments Clause.  The abbreviated removal appeal procedures in that law were enacted [...]

Federal Court of Appeals Approves MSPB Standard for Government Shutdown Furloughs

In Synder v. Dept. of Navy, Federal Circuit, April 27, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed Merit Systems Protection Board's approval furloughs of the plaintiff resulting from the October 2013 sequestration.  The legal standard applied is that an agency's furlough decision must "be a reasonable management solution to the financial restrictions placed on the agency" and the agency must "determine which employees to furlough in a fair and even manner." 5 U.S.C. 7513(a); 5 C.F. R. [...]

Court of Federal Claims Doubles the Back Pay due Federal Employees From Government Shutdown

On February 17, 2017, the Unites States Court of Federal Claims, issued a decision that doubles the back pay due federal employees from the October 2013 government shutdown. Donald Martin, Jr. v. United States, No. 13-843, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 2017). The class action case was brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act which requires employers, including the Federal government, to pay employees, at least the minimum wage and overtime. The FLSA further provides for a doubling of the [...]

Employee Recovers for Retaliatory Termination and a Hostile Work Environment

By decision issued in October 2015, an administrative judge of the EEOC found that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers retaliated against our client, Tommy “Junior” Vinson, for his exercise of protected EEO activities when it terminated him  from his position as an Area Facilities Operations Specialist, GS-11,  during his probationary period, The judge further found that he had been subjected to a retaliatory hostile work environment. Mr. Vinson was awarded back pay from his [...]