What types of disciplinary actions can be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board?

For the Board to have jurisdiction over an appeal of a personnel action, it must possess jurisdiction over both the action and the individual filing the appeal. The employees and others (such as applicants for employment, annuitants in retirement cases) who may appeal specific actions to the Board vary by the law and regulations governing the specific action.

Most employees are entitled to appeal adverse actions (removals, suspensions of more than 14 days, reductions in grade or pay, and furloughs of 30 days or fewer), performance-based removals or reductions in grade, denials of within-grade increases, certain reduction-in-force actions, denials of restoration to duty or re-employment rights, and determinations in employment suitability and retirement matters. Special rules apply to whistleblowers. (Note: Lesser actions might be appealable through an internal agency administrative grievance procedure.)

For some actions, classes of employees, such as political appointees and employees of specific agencies, such as intelligence and security agencies, are excluded.

Probationary employees have limited appeal rights. They generally may appeal a termination only based on political affiliation, marital status, or on conditions arising before employment on the grounds that the termination was not in accordance with regulations.

Employees in bargaining units have appeal rights through a negotiated procedure and would have to choose between that route and MSPB.

Note: Policies differ in certain ways for employees of the Veterans Affairs Department, mainly involving the allowed period at each stage of the process and the deference that reviewing officials must give to the department’s decision.

2021 Digital Almanac

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