shaw bransford & roth case law update

Federal Circuit: Hasty Probationary Period Removal Motivated by Preference-Eligible Status

The Social Security Administration removed a preference-eligible veteran from his position as an attorney advisor near the end of his one-year probationary period due to allegedly poor performance. The employee filed for corrective action with the Merit Systems Protection Board, alleging that the agency violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) when it removed him because of his preference-eligible status. An MSPB administrative judge denied the request for corrective action, and the employee appealed to the Federal Circuit. On November 7, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the MSPB decision, and remanded the case to the MSPB for a determination of the appropriate corrective action.

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shaw bransford & roth case law update

FLRA: DOD Violated Educator CBA

The Federal Labor Relations Authority found that the Department of Defense violated its collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) with the educators’ union (the Federal Education Association – Stateside Region) when it refused to credit “plus hours” earned before educators earned a master’s degree when determining employee pay lanes.

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shaw bransford & roth case law update

Federal Circuit: Cadet Service Cannot Help Satisfy Five-Year FERS Service Requirement

A political appointee retired from federal service after almost four years of civilian service, relying on advice from a human resources official that he could “buy back” time spent as a cadet at West Point and credit it towards the five years of civilian service required to qualify for a FERS retirement annuity. When OPM found that he was ineligible for an annuity, he appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board, which affirmed OPM’s decision. The employee appealed. On October 2, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Board’s decision.

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shaw bransford & roth case law update

First Circuit: No Need to Correctly Label Legal Theory for OSC Exhaustion

An ICE Supervisory Special Agent delivered a document to a colleague at the direction of his supervisor, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge. The colleague (a Special Agent) later used the document in support of his own whistleblower case against the Agency. After the Agency learned of the Supervisory Special Agent’s involvement in his colleague’s appeal, he was not selected for promotion, and received a lower-than-normal performance appraisal. He then filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel, alleging that the agency retaliated against him for providing information to his colleague that was later used in his colleague’s appeal.

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