News from the Supreme Court: On November 4, 2014, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the matter of Dept. of Homeland Security v. MacLean, No. 13-894. This represents the latest stage in the long-running MacLean case, which was previously analyzed by Passman & Kaplan, P.C. in the Federal Legal Corner, and in this blog.
Developments at the MSPB: On September 29, 2014, a split Special Panel issued its decision in Alvara v. Dept. of Homeland Security, 2014 MSPB 77. As previously analyzed in this blog, the Alvara case involved a dispute between the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over whether Mr. Alvara's removal for medical inability to perform should be overturned due to the agency's failure to reasonably accommodate Mr. Alvara with a modified schedule. The Special Panel found in favor of the EEOC, with the case remanded to an administrative judge to order Mr. Alvara's reinstatement and to award compensatory damages and other relief.
News from the Whitehouse: On September 26, 2014, President Obama signed Pub.L. 113-170, the "All Circuit Review Extension Act". The new law extends a current pilot program for judicial review of the MSPB decisions in whistleblower reprisal cases by three years.
Developments at the EEOC: On September 15, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Office of Federal Operations (OFO) published a report entitled Preserving Access to the Legal System: Common Errors by Federal Agencies in Dismissing Complaints of Discrimination on Procedural Grounds. The report's findings revealed an alarming rate of erroneously dismissed EEO complaints by federal agencies.