On April 20, 2012, in Doe v. Small Business Administration, MSPB Case No. DE-0752-11-0319-I-2, Benezra & Culver prevailed before the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”) on a claim of disproportionate discipline of a longtime federal employee.
Our client was a 23-year employee of the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) with an unparalleled record of achievement, including receipt of the SBA’s highest award for its thousands of field employees, selection for a prestigious federal leadership training program called the Annenberg Leadership Institute, and many unpaid overtime hours volunteering to assist with the Agency’s response to Hurricane Katrina. He was terminated for misuse of a government computer after an internal investigation revealed misuse by dozens of employees.
In a three-day hearing before MSPB Administrative Law Judge Stephen Mish in November 2011, Benezra & Culver proved that the Agency had misapplied the factors which federal agencies must consider when disciplining their employees. On de novo review, Judge Mish determined that termination was an excessive penalty considering our client’s exemplary record of service with the SBA, mitigated the penalty to a 60-day suspension and one-grade demotion, and ordered that the SBA reinstate our client and repay him for lost wages and benefits pending reinstatement.