Settlement agreements at the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) often occur. These settlements relate to appeals filed by federal employees against their federal agencies. This means that a federal employee who has filed an MSPB appeal and the federal agency have come to an agreement resolving their appeal. There are a number of different types of potential settlement options for MSPB appeals, and these vary significantly on a case-by-case basis.
What Types of Potential Settlement Options are Available at the MSPB?
There are a number of potential settlement options available at the MSPB. These may include but are not limited to settlements where a disciplinary penalty is reduced, where an individual’s disciplinary record may be cleared, the parties agree to a last chance agreement, where backpay is agreed to or where payment of attorney fees is provided. Some other examples of potential settlement terms can include employment references, recommendation letters, revised performance evaluations, provisions relating to retirement benefits, provisions relating to unemployment compensation, confidentiality clauses, resignation agreements, reduction in disciplinary penalties agreements, reassignments, and leave agreements. The possible terms of settlement at the MSPB are infinite and depend on an individual case.
The key to resolving an MSPB case through settlement is to start to attempt to negotiate as early as possible with the assistance of an attorney while at the same time litigating your matter seriously before the MSPB.
How the Settlement Agreement Process Works at the MSPB
Generally, settlement agreements at the MSPB are worked out between the parties following the initial filing of the federal employee’s MSPB appeal. The process can either be informal or formal. Informally, either side can begin the process by proposing a settlement offer to the other side. Additionally, it is often the case that the parties can request a settlement judge from the MSPB or engage in mediation.
Eventually, when the initial terms of the settlement agreement are agreed to in principle, either the appellant’s counsel or the counsel for the federal agency involved begins the process of drafting the proposed written agreement. At this stage, the parties will go back and forth until the final agreement is agreeable to both sides and then signed.
The MSPB Role in the Settlement Process
Generally, when the parties finalize a signed settlement agreement, either the appellant or the agency will file the agreement with the MSPB judge assigned to the case. The MSPB judge will review the agreement and determine whether it can be accepted and finalized. Generally, settlement agreements are accepted into the record quickly by the MSPB judge and the case is closed.
When attempting to settle an MSPB case with a federal agency it is important to have experienced counsel. This can often make a difference in the ability to settle a case on favorable terms. This law firm represents federal employees in MSPB appeals and can be contacted at (703) 668-0070 or www.berrylegal.com to arrange for individual consultations regarding MSPB cases.