News from the Federal Circuit: On May 9, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its decision in Helman v. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, No. 2015-3086. The Court struck down part of the statute for expedited removals of Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Senior Executive Service (SES) employees as unconstitutional, but left much of the statute in place.
News from the White House: On December 23, 2016, President Obama signed S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (NDAA). This law contained several important changes in the law relevant to federal employees, specifically in three areas: administrative leave, negative paper trails, and buyouts for DoD employees.
Developments at the MSPB: On June 13, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued a nonprecedential decision in Halfacre v. Dept. of Homeland Security, MSPB Docket No. DC-0752-12-0626-I-1. Reversing the administrative judge's decision below, the MSPB found that Ms. Halfacre was denied Constitutional due process in her removal, rendering the removal fatally legally defective. Accordingly, the MSPB reversed the removal of Ms. Halfacre and reinstated her to duty with back pay.
News from the Supreme Court: On November 15, 2013, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) appealed the August 20, 2013, en banc decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Kaplan v. Conyers and MSPB, Case No. 2011-3207, to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has discretion on which cases it takes for appeal, and so this AFGE appeal is more formally referred to as a petition for a writ of certiorari (or 'cert petition'). Passman & Kaplan previously analyzed Conyers in this blog and in its Federal Legal Corner.
News from the Federal Circuit: On January 24, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated the August 17, 2012, decision of a three-judge panel of the Court in Berry, Director, Office of Personnel Management v. Conyers, Northover and Merit Systems Protection Board, Case No. 2011-3207, and agreed to rehear the case before the entire Court (rehearing en banc). The issue is whether the Merit Systems Protection Board has jurisdiction over removal cases where the employee was removed for failure to remain eligible for a "critical sensitive" or "non-critical sensitive" position.