MSPB Reverses Dismissal of VA Whistleblower Case
A Veterans Affairs nurse filed a complaint with OSC on December 30, 2011, and disclosed to OSC that he believed medications were being improperly distributed to veterans, and that some patients had been granted access to off-limits areas. He filed an OSC complaint on July 24, 2012, claiming that in reprisal for his original disclosure his car was vandalized, he received patient complaints, was issued a “minimally satisfactory” evaluation, that he received a “double bind” proficiency review and summary review notice, and was subjected to a hostile work environment. On July 26, 2012, the employee informed the agency he planned to resign, and on August 12, 2012, that resignation became effective. After his resignation, the employee filed another OSC reprisal complaint, but was informed on March 7, 2013, that OSC was closing its investigation. At that time, the employee filed a Board appeal and requested a hearing. The MSPB administrative judge agreed with the employee that he had exhausted his administrative remedies with OSC, but ultimately found that he had failed to make a nonfrivolous allegation that the agency retaliated against him by creating intolerable working conditions that caused his involuntary resignation. The employee appealed to the full Board. On October 16, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board reversed the administrative judge’s finding, and remanded the case for an analysis of his involuntary resignation claim.