News from the Federal Circuit: Although the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is currently shut down and without quorum, its chief reviewing court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, has continued deciding federal sector adverse action cases. Federal Circuit decisions of interest issued since the shutdown began include the following:
Developments at OPM: On October 10, 2018, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued Interpretive Guidance on implementation of Section 5 of Executive Order 13,839. OPM's Interpretive Guidance clarifies some aspects of how Section 5--the provision limiting modification of federal personnel records in settlement--should be applied.
News from the Federal Circuit: On August 24, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in Villareal v. Bureau of Prisons, No. 2017-2275. The Court upheld Mr. Villareal's removal, finding no per se due process violation in the long delay in deciding to impose discipline.
News from the Courts: On August 25, 2018, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a 122-page memorandum opinion in American Federation of Government Employees et al. v. Trump, No. 1:18-cv-1261. The Court struck down significant portions of the three May 25, 2018 executive orders concerning federal employees.
News from Passman & Kaplan: As a public service, Passman & Kaplan wished to generally warn federal employees about the often-short response deadlines that apply when federal employees are faced with a proposed adverse action, in light of recent changes in the law.
News from the Whitehouse: On May 25, 2018, hours before the start of Memorial Day weekend, President Trump issues three executive orders with potentially far-reaching negative consequences for federal employees.
News from the Courts: The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 7th and 9th Circuits each issued recent whistleblower reprisal decisions. Both courts reversed rigid Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) decisions requiring specific fact allegations in whistleblower claims at the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).
Developments at the MSPB: On January 19, 2018, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued its annual report for FY 2017. The report discussed the current status of the MSPB's overall case processing in FY 2017.
News from the Courts: On December 7, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit issued its decision in Flynn v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 16-2122. In one of the later decisions to arise under the recently-expired all-circuit review provision for federal sector whistleblower reprisal claims.
News from Congress: On October 26, 2017, new whistleblower protection legislation was signed into law as Pub.L. 115-73. The statute makes several important changes to whistleblower reprisal protections for federal employees.