Author Jessica Parks

Jessica Parks

Jessica Parks is a member of Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris, PLLC, where she serves as the Chair of the firm’s MSPB Practice section. Before joining the firm, Ms. Parks served as Vice Chair of the MSPB and previously was an Administrative Judge for the Board’s Atlanta Regional Office.

Imagine that you are a federal manager considering possible discipline against a subordinate employee. Have you provided advance written notice of proposed discipline to the employee? Check. Have you provided the employee with the documents on which the disciplinary action is based? Check. But have you alerted the employee to all factors you are taking into account for purposes of determining the disciplinary penalty? And have you given the employee an opportunity to address all those factors? If the answer is no, then the MSPB might conclude that you violated the employee’s right to due process, and reverse the disciplinary…

Experienced federal managers are very familiar with the mitigating factors that must be considered when determining employee discipline. What you may not know is that an employee’s medical condition is entitled to “considerable weight as a mitigating factor.” That’s how the MSPB described it in a recent case, Bowman v. Small Bus. Admin., MSPB No. AT-0752-13-0538-I-1 (2015). In this blog we will describe the Bowman case, along with other recent legal rulings on this issue. In Bowman, the agency removed a Supervisory Construction Analyst for excessive unauthorized leave and failure to follow proper leave requesting procedures. The MSPB agreed that…

The MSPB and the Federal Circuit have made it clear that the protection from retaliation provided under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) is very broad. Activities that one may not associate with whistleblowing, and even employees who do not make whistleblowing disclosures, may be covered by the WPA. The WPA generally provides whistleblower protections to an employee or applicant who discloses information that the person reasonably believes to reveal “any violation of any law, rule, or regulation,” or “gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.”…