Federal workers have several rights that those in the private sector do not have. This is because U.S. government sought to create a workforce that worked toward agency missions and were beholden to the American people, not the political class. As part of this division, the Merit Systems Protection Board was created as the guardian of the federal merit system. The MSPB is independent from any other agency within the Executive Branch, and it is a quasi-judicial agency governed by administrative law.
When was it created?
Established by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1978 (codified in the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, Public Law No. 95-454, the MSPB has been in operation since the beginning of 1979. The mission of the MSPB is to: “Protect the Merit System Principles and promote an effective Federal workforce free of Prohibited Personnel Practices.”
What does it do?
Specifically, the MSPB has the authority and responsibility to adjudicate federal employee appeals from their agency’s decisions that affect the federal employee’s federal position. This is in addition to acting as a check on the Office of Personnel Management when it makes decisions that could affect the federal merit system.
MSPB does not take every case though
For those cases that complain of discrimination, the MSPB does not have jurisdiction. Instead, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission handles those cases. In addition, complaints that relate to arbitration awards and unfair labor practices, they are handled by the Federal Labor Relations Authority, not the MSPB. They also do not handle whistleblower complaints or illegalities that relate to civil service laws, rules or regulations.
Employment law for federal workers is complicated
For federal employees in Los Angeles, California, and throughout the state, they have several avenues to seek redress if they believe they have been treated unfairly in their federal position. The MSPB is one of those places where they can seek redress, though, as employment law for federal workers can be so complicated, it is often recommended that federal employees seek help to navigate the system.