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Federal employee wins reversal of MSPB decision. Dr. Debra Tao was employed for thirty years as a pharmacist with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. In February of 2018, Dr. Tao filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). She alleged the VA engaged in retaliatory actions prohibited under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

Those actions included a three-day suspension and a proposed letter of removal. Dr. Tao contended that these measures were taken against her due to sixteen protected actions she took between June of 2017 and January of 2018. The OSC dropped their inquiry into Dr. Tao’s case and advised her to seek corrective action from the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The administrative judge for the MSPB dismissed Dr. Tao’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction, claiming that Dr. Tao had not sufficiently alleged that her actions were protected. Dr. Tao appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The MSPB concedes that the administrative judge’s ruling was erroneous in five of the actions. The Court reversed the ruling on the five actions the MSPB agrees were made in error and vacated and remanded the rest for further consideration.

Debra Tao v. Merit Systems Protection Board, http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/20-1834.OPINION.5-7-2021_1774630.pdf

Attorney Kirk J. Angel represents federal employees in matters before the MSPB. If you are a federal employee with an MSPB hearing, you should reach out to him today.  https://theangellawfirm.com/contact-us