Federal Manager's Daily Report

The Merit Systems Protection Board recently overturned an

administrative law judge’s decision affirming a mail

handler’s removal during her probationary period for

failing to consider her status as a disabled veteran.

Ordinarily, a postal service employee may file an appeal to

the Board only if the employee is veteran’s preference-eligible

or is a supervisory employee and has completed one year of

continuous service in a same or similar position. Finding

the mail handler had been terminated before she finished

one year of service, the administrative judge found the

Board could not hear her case. However, in her petition for

review, the mail handler alleged that the Postal Service was

violating a veteran’s preference provision in connection

with a personnel action in her case citing the Uniformed

Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and the

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act.

In reversing the administrative judge’s decision, the Board

concluded that under both acts, a veteran, such as the mail

handler, is considered a “person” and is therefore not

prohibited from filing an appeal to the Board. The Board

remanded the case to the agency for further proceedings.

http://www.mspb.gov/decisions/2004/henderson_se030219i1.html