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Rulings Roundup: IRS employee wins appeal in discrimination case

AGS-7 Tax Examining Technician with the IRS, won her recent race and disability discrimination appeal, which was filed to reverse her removal based on four charges of alleged misconduct.


Lonnie Pace, a GS-7 Tax Examining Technician with the IRS, won her recent race and disability discrimination appeal, which was filed to reverse her removal based on four charges of alleged misconduct.

Pace filed her appeal in the form of a grievance that proceeded to arbitration. At arbitration, the arbitrator found for Pace—concluding that the “agency failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the removal ‘was only for such cause as will promote the efficiency of the Service.’” Despite this finding, however, the arbitrator limited the remedy only to reinstating the appellant with a “one-time payment equivalent to four months of back pay based upon a 40-hour week”—with no damages awarded.

Pace appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board. The board found for Pace, noting that “the arbitrator’s decision must include specific findings on the issues in question in order for the Board to defer to the arbitrator’s findings and conclusions.” Here, the board found, the arbitrator failed to employ “any recognizable legal standard or framework.” MSPB therefore vacated the arbitrator’s decision—and ordered the case remanded for further adjudication.

(Pace v. Department of the Treasury, MSPB Docket No. CB-7121-11-0010-V-1, 9/19/12)

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