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 [...]

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 [...]

7th Circuit Extends Title VII Protection to Sexual Orientation

In Hively v. Ivy Community College of Indiana (7th Cir. 2017)   an en banc decision characterized as "momentous" by the dissent, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit holds that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act's prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex covers claims of employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. This holding has previously been rejected by other courts, although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has advocated for [...]

Monica Baker v. U.S. Army – Initial Decision

On December 10, 2014, an Administrative Judge of the Merit Systems Protection Board issued an  Initial Decision that reversed our client's removal and found 1) the Agency abused its discretion in denying the Appellant leave, 2) the Agency discriminated against Appellant on the basis of her disability,  and 3) the Agency retaliated against Appellant in removing her. The Appellant was promptly reinstated and the issues of compensatory damages and attorneys were subsequently resolved in mediation.