About the Merit Systems Protection Board

Finding Previous MSPB Decisions

Many federal employees have the right to appeal adverse employment decisions, prohibited employment practices, and other employment decisions to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). It is the mission of the MSPB to protect the rights of employees and to protect our federal merit system.

If you are making the decision about whether or not to appeal an employment issue to the MSPB, then it is useful for you to consider past MSPB decisions to get an idea about how the MSPB has ruled in previous cases. This information can be useful as you decide whether it was worth the time, expense, and effort to file an appeal and as you prepare your arguments.

Previous MSPB Decisions

There are several different ways to research previous MSPB decisions. The internet makes it easy to get instantaneous access to previous decisions. has a page called recent decisions. Decisions reached by the MSPB within the past 3 months are included on that page. You will be provided with a list that includes the date the decision was issued, the case number, the appellant’s name and the agency’s name. You can simply click on the appellant’s name to read the MSPB decision. You can also sign up to receive an e-mail notification each time an MSPB decision is published to the website.

You also have the option of reading brief summaries of MSPB, EEOC and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decisions. The website has a page called case report indices. This page has links that contain MSPB, EEOC and Court of Appeals case summaries for each 3 month period of the previous seven years. The decisions for each 3 month period are divided by topics, so that you can easily locate all cases that present issues similar to yours.

If you prefer to review hard copies of MSPB decisions, then you make that request of the agency pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The law permits the MSPB to charge you reasonable fees for making photocopies, however.

The Importance of Previous MSPB Decisions

It is important to remember that no two cases are identical, no matter how closely the facts of your case resemble a previously decided case. It may be difficult for a layperson to distinguish the important details of his or her case, or the important legal matters that make it unique. Therefore, it is important to consult an employment lawyer who is experienced in MSPB matters if you have any questions about how your case compares to previously decided cases.

Your employment lawyer will review your case and advise you about the case’s strengths and weaknesses. If, together, you and your lawyer decide that you have a viable case that has merit, then your lawyer can represent you in all MSPB proceedings. If the MSPB agrees to hear your appeal, then other federal employees will have the opportunity to review your case when deciding whether or not to bring an appeal before the Merit Systems Protection Board in the future.