For only the second time in 27 years, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board is conducting oral argument in cases pending before it on appeal. The specific issue, in four cases consolidated for argument, is “whether when the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) directs an agency to separate a tenured employee for suitability reasons, the Board must consider a subsequent appeal under 5 CFR part 731 as contemplated therein, or should the Board instead consider the appeal under 5 U.S.C. chapter 75, given that the scope of a chapter 75 appeal is broader than a part 731 appeal and that OPM generally lacks authority to issue regulations limiting statutory rights.” The four consolidated cases are: Hyginus U. Aguzie v. Office of Personnel Management, MSPB Docket Number DC-0731-09-0261-R-1; Jenee Ella Hunt-O’Neal v. Office of Personnel Management, MSPB Docket Number AT-0731-09-0240-I-1; James A. Scott v. Office of Personnel Management, MSPB Docket Number CH-0731-09-0578-I-1; and Holley C. Barnes v. Office of Personnel Management, MSPB Docket Number DC-0731-09-0260-R-1 (Aguzie, et al.) Passman & Kaplan represents Ms. Barnes.
The oral argument will take place on October 18, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Room 201, 717 Madison Place, N.W., Washington, D.C.