News from the Whitehouse: On November 25, 2015, President Obama signed Pub.L. 114-92, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. This Department of Defense (DoD) appropriation statute contained two provisions which negatively impact the civil service rights of affected DoD employees.
Developments at the MSPB: On May 11, 2015, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued a new report, What is Due Process in Federal Civil Service Employment? This report appeared to target certain alleged mischaracterizations regarding civil service due process rights of federal employees which, according to recent press accounts, have been driving proposals in Congress to truncate those due process protections.
Developments at the GAO: On March 9, 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a new report, "FEDERAL WORKFORCE: Improved Supervision and Better Use of Probationary Periods Are Needed To Address Substandard Employee Performance", Report GAO-15-191. In the report, GAO discussed various issues concerning performance management for federal employees.
Developments at the MSPB: On February 2, 2015, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued its annual performance report for FY 2014, combined with its performance plan for FY 2015-2016. The report discussed the current status of the MSPB's caseload of furlough appeals, its overall case processing in FY 2014, and specific case statistics for whistleblower reprisal cases.
Developments at the MSPB: On June 23, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued a precedential decision in Abbott v. U.S. Postal Service, 2014 MSPB 47. The MSPB drastically overturned its prior precedent on enforced leave cases, making it potentially easier for employees to challenge these actions at the MSPB.
Developments at the MSPB: On June 13, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued a nonprecedential decision in Halfacre v. Dept.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.
Developments at the MSPB: On May 30, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued its annual report for FY 2013. The report discussed the current status of the MSPB's caseload of furlough appeals, as well as its overall case processing in FY2013.
News from the Federal Circuit: In Cunningham v. United States, No. 2013-5055 (4/9/14), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the Court of Federal Claims had jurisdiction over breach of a settlement agreement claims, and can award money damages to the claimant, despite other avenues for redress of the breach.
News from the Supreme Court: On March 31, 2014, the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of Northover v. Archuleta. This decision ends the appeal process for the Conyers/Northover cases, which Passman & Kaplan previously analyzed in this blog and in its Federal Legal Corner.
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.