OCR Quick Facts: Mixed Case Complaints
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) manages the Department of Commerce's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Complaint Process. This fact sheet includes basic information about mixed case complaints, which contain issues that may appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
A. The MSPB is an independent Federal agency that serves as the guardian of Federal merit systems. Under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), most Federal employees may appeal various personnel actions affecting them to the MSPB. The MSPB appeal process is designed to ensure that federal employees are protected from unfair or arbitrary treatment.
A. Under the CSRA, the majority of cases are appeals of agency adverse actions -- removals, suspensions of more than 14 days, reductions in grade or pay, furloughs of 30 days or less.
Other types of actions that may be appealed to the Board include: performance-based removals or reductions in grade, denials of within-grade salary increases, reduction-in-force actions,Office of Personnel Management (OPM) suitability determinations, OPM employment practices, OPM determinations in retirement matters, denials of restoration or reemployment rights, and terminations of probationary employees under certain circumstances.
A. No. The employees and others (e.g. applicants for employment, annuitants in retirement cases) who may appeal specific actions to the MSPB vary in accordance with the law and regulations governing those actions. Generally, Commerce employees who may appeal adverse actions are:
A. Yes. When an agency takes an appealable action against an employee, the agency must provide the employee with notice of their MSPB appeal rights.
A. A mixed case complaint is a complaint of employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability related to or stemming from an action that can be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The complaint may contain only an allegation of employment discrimination or it may contain additional allegations that the MSPB has jurisdiction to address.
A. No. An employee can choose to raise a mixed case claim in either an EEO complaint or an MSPB appeal, but may not use both processes.
A person chooses a forum by filing an MSPB appeal or a formal EEO complaint. Receiving informal EEO counseling is not considered a choice to use the EEO complaint process.
If both a mixed case complaint and a mixed case appeal are filed, the action that was filed last will be dismissed.
A. The procedures used to process mixed case complaints are the same as those used in other EEO complaints with several key exceptions:
The Special Panel's decision may be appealed to the appropriate United States District Court.
Published June 2003
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