News from the Federal Circuit: On March 22, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in Hicks v. Merit Systems Protection Board, No. 2016-1091. While rejecting Ms. Hicks' appeal, the Federal Circuit followed the retroactivity analysis used by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) in its earlier decisions concerning the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), leaving the door open to some WPEA provisions retaining retroactive coverage.
As a federal employee, you are in a unique position. On one hand you represent the government and its interests. On the other, you are a private citizen with constitutional rights, such as freedom of speech. Unfortunately, this duality can make it complicated when your personal views conflict with the government's and you make others aware of it.
News from the Whitehouse: On March 18, 2016, President Obama signed into law Public Law 114-137. This new statute made some changes to federal civil service hiring procedures, although their potential effectiveness has been called into question.
Developments at the MSPB: On February 29, 2016, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued its Annual Report for FY 2015. This Annual Report, issued a mere 20 days after the MSPB's Annual Performance Report (analyzed in this blog), provided more detailed statistics concerning its caseload in FY 2015.