Developments at the MSPB: On August 19, 2014, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued an Interim Final Rule implementing procedures for handling adverse actions against Senior Executive Service (SES) employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs (79 Fed.Reg. 48,941-48, 946, as corrected 79 Fed.Reg. 49,423). The MSPB had to rush to draft these regulations in order to meet a 14-day deadline specified in Section 707 of Pub.L. 113-146--the statute creating this new adverse action procedure--which was previously analyzed in this blog. As an interim final rule, the regulations came into immediate effect, but the MSPB will be accepting comments on the regulations through September 18, 2014.
Developments at the MSPB: A recent case has placed the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) into conflict over reasonable accommodations involving modified work schedules to disabled employees.
Developments at OPM: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) published a Final Rule in the August 8, 2014 edition of the Federal Register (79 Fed.Reg. 46,608-46,638). The Final Rule contains OPM's final regulations for implementing the phased retirement created by Section 100121 of Pub.L. 112-141, as previously analyzed in this blog. The effective date for the rule is November 6, 2014.
News from the Whitehouse: On August 7, 2014, President Obama signed the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014, Pub. L. 113-146. While most of the statute concerned veterans' care issues, Section 707 of the statute has profound effects on the adverse action protections for Senior Executive Service (SES) employees working at the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).
Developments at the EEOC: On July 14, 2014, the EEOC issued its first comprehensive guidance since 1983 on pregnancy discrimination and the interaction of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Enforcement Guidance was accompanied by a Questions and Answers document.
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.