One of the great benefits most federal employees enjoy which many other workers in San Diego do not is a right to be heard before the Federal Merit Systems Protection Board if they get terminated or suspended long term, more than two weeks, for performance-related issues or “for cause” because of some improper or prohibited behavior.
Although the Board can in some cases hear discrimination claims as well, it is important to remember that one need not have a claim of discrimination in order to take his or her termination to the Board for review. The agencies of the federal government have to follow strict rules and regulations when they hire or fire, and the Board is there to make sure that the agencies actually follow these rules.
While an employee who asks for a review may eventually come to terms with the agency, should the matter go to the Board, the Board can award back pay, reinstatement and, in some cases, attorney fees. This compensation can be of great help to an employee who has been wrongfully terminated, as getting fired not only means a sudden and severe loss of income, it also makes it harder to find another job.
It is important, however, that federal employees not sit on these rights, as they only have 30 days after getting fired to ask for a review. At our law office we have considerable experience with these types of hearings and are familiar both with the procedures the Board uses and, substantively, what information they are and are not looking for.
We help federal employees who have been fired prepare their appeals and timely file them. We also help conduct a thorough investigation into the facts of the case and prepare the case with an eye toward an eventual review.