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How to File an Appeal with the MSPB

The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) provides an important recourse for federal employees who have been wrongfully treated by their employer. Employees who fall under the jurisdiction of the MSPB and who have suffered an adverse employment action by a federal agency may be able to file an appeal. However, in order for the MSPB appeal to be heard and for the employee to have the opportunity to resolve the outstanding issues, the employee must follow the correct procedures for filing an appeal with the MSPB.

When Should an Appeal be Filed with the MSPB?

Federal statutes define the amount of time that an employee has to file a Merit Systems Protection Board appeal. In most cases, an appellant must file an appeal with the MSPB within 30 days of the date of the agency action that is being appealed, or within 30 days of when the appellant was notified that the agency took the action. If both the appellant and the agency agree in writing to try to resolve their dispute before coming to the MSPB, then the deadline is extended for an additional 30 days to give the appellant a total of 60 days in which to file the appeal.

In certain cases, extended duration times to file an appeal apply. Whistleblowers who are filing an appeal after filing a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) have 60-65 days from the date they received the OSC notice, depending on the circumstances. Appellants who are appealing a decision pursuant to the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act are required to first file a complaint with the Secretary of Labor. The Secretary of Labor has 60 days to resolve the matter. If the matter is not resolved within 60 days, the appellant may file an appeal with the MSPB beginning on the 61st day. Alternatively, the appellant can wait for the Secretary to resolve the matter and file an appeal within 15 days of receiving the Secretary’s decision if the decision is unfavorable to the appellant. Those appellants seeking an MSPB appeal pursuant to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act have no regulatory timeline for filing their appeal, and may do so at any time.

What Should be Included in an MSPB Appeal Request?

All MSPB appeal requests must include all of the information required by federal regulations. The regulations vary slightly based on the type of appeal that is submitted. All of the appeals are required to include:

• The name, address and telephone number of the appellant;

• The name, address and telephone number of the appellant’s attorney or representative;

• The name and address of the agency involved;

• A description of the alleged actions of the agency and the date they happened;

• A statement of why the appellant believes that the agency’s actions were wrong;

• A statement of what the appellant would like the MSPB judge to order;

• A description of other grievances or complaints related to the actions at issue before the MSPB;

• Applicable documentation; and

• The appellant’s signature.

Additional information may be requested from appellants who are alleging retaliation for whistleblowing, whose claims are made pursuant to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act or the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act or those who are requesting a regulation review.

How Should the MSPB Appeal be Submitted?

The Merit Systems Protection Board has an online form, known as the e-Appeal online form that contains all of the information required by the MSPB. Applicants may complete the e-Appeal online form or they can send in their own written appeal via regular mail, fax, or personal delivery. E-mail appeals requests are not accepted.

Can an Employment Attorney File My MSPB Appeal?

An emplyment attorney can be very helpful when you file an appeal with the MSPB. The application for an MSPB appeal must be filed within the required timelines, depending on the nature of your appeal, and must include all of the required information described above. Your lawyer can ensure that all deadlines are met with the appropriate content and that all of your rights are well protected during your appeal with the MSPB.