The Merit Systems Protection Board recently split on whether

a postal employee who twice told his supervisor that he

would “go ballistic” if he was not granted requested leave

and allegedly threatened another worker with a knife was

entitled to challenge a resignation settlement agreement

containing a provision that the employee agreed to waive any

appeal rights.

When the employee appealed, contending that his resignation

was coerced, an administrative law judge found, noting the

alleged severity of the employee’s behavior, that as the

employee filed his appeal almost three years after the

resignation and he voluntarily resigned, the employee did

not advance any non-frivolous arguments to challenge his

waiver of appeal rights.

On appeal to the MSPB, the Board split. The Board chairman

desired to affirm the administrative law judge’s findings

arguing that the employee’s coercion allegations were

unsupported and found evidence in the record that the

employee did confront a co-worker with a knife. Another

Board member wanted to reverse the administrative law

judge’s finding arguing that the employee non-frivolously

alleged that his resignation was coerced based on the

member’s perception that the employee was misled about his

appeal rights, specifically, the employee’s limited right

to contest the agency’s assertion of breach of the

settlement agreement. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the

Federal Circuit will hear any appeal. Get Full Text