The sequestration that began on March 1 of this year is starting to have substantial impact on the function of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The board, which is responsible for hearing employee complaints involving adverse job actions, has recently seen the trickle of cases related to sequestration furloughs become a fire hose like torrent.
On July 18, the MSPB reported that it had received 2,100 appeals from employment disputes. MSPB Chairwoman Susan Tsui Grundmann stated, “We literally, on a daily basis, have hundreds and hundreds of furlough cases filed, with people dropping off stacks of paper in each office or using our electronic filing system.” By the end of last week filings at the board appear to have gotten much worse.
The MSPBs website was brought down several times last week according to the agencies clerk. The FederalTimes.com reported that by July 26, the MSPB had 4,647 appeals, which it noted represented an increase of “about 50 percent” in a week. In addition to that massive increase in docketed cases, the clerk noted there were another 4,587cases that MSPB had received, but had not been entered in their system yet.
If those numbers are accurate, it would represent more than 9,000 cases, well in excess of the MSPBs typical case load of 6,000 to 7,000 filings. To deal with the crush of these cases the board may attempt to consolidate cases, if there are sufficient similar issues presented, however, once a case is filed, they have to evaluate the individual facts, to determine if consolidation is possible.
If you have a matter pending with the MSPB, whether or not related to sequestration furloughs, delays may be inevitable for the foreseeable future.
Source: Sacramento Bee, “Want to appeal furlough with the MSPB? Get in line,” Micheal O’Connell