News from the Whitehouse: On July 21, 2014, President Obama issued a new Executive Order expanding LGBT anti-discrimination protections. The Executive Order specifically expands protections for persons suffering from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Developments at the MSPB: On June 23, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued a precedential decision in Abbott v. U.S. Postal Service, 2014 MSPB 47. The MSPB drastically overturned its prior precedent on enforced leave cases, making it potentially easier for employees to challenge these actions at the MSPB.
News from the Whitehouse: On July 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Pub.L. 113-126). Sections 601-603 of the statute solidified protections for whistleblowers in intelligence agencies and/or with security clearances.
Developments at OPM: On June 23, 2014, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register (79 Fed. Reg. 35,497-35,498). OPM is proposing to revise the regulations governing federal-sector Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to extend coverage to same-sex spouses of federal employees. Comments on the Proposed Rule are due August 22, 2014.
Developments at the MSPB: On June 13, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued a precedential decision in Chavez v. Small Business Administration, 2014 MSPB 37. The MSPB upheld the administrative judge's mitigation of Mr. Chavez' removal to a 60 day suspension, and in doing so clarified the proper application of Douglas factor analysis to the reasonableness of penalties.
Developments at the MSPB: On June 13, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued a nonprecedential decision in Halfacre v. Dept. of Homeland Security, MSPB Docket No. DC-0752-12-0626-I-1. Reversing the administrative judge's decision below, the MSPB found that Ms. Halfacre was denied Constitutional due process in her removal, rendering the removal fatally legally defective. Accordingly, the MSPB reversed the removal of Ms. Halfacre and reinstated her to duty with back pay.
Developments at the MSPB: On May 30, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued its annual report for FY 2013. The report discussed the current status of the MSPB's caseload of furlough appeals, as well as its overall case processing in FY2013.
Developments at the EEOC: On May 15, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register (79 Fed.Reg. 27,824-27,826). The Notice, entitled "The Federal Sector's Obligation To Be a Model Employer of Individuals With Disabilities" seeks comments from the public on how to implement the federal government's statutory obligation to be a model employer of the disabled. Comments are due by July 14, 2014.
Developments at the MSPB: On May 7, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) published a new report, Sexual Orientation and the Federal Workforce: Policy and Perception. As the MSPB noted in its press release announcing publication of the report, "The report examines Federal employee perceptions of workplace treatment based on sexual orientation and reviews the evolution and current state of the protections from sexual orientation discrimination in Federal employment."
Developments at the MSPB: On May 6, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) published a notice in the Federal Register (79 Fed.Reg. 25,895-25,896) seeking public comment on the MSPB's research agenda.