Merits Systems Protection Board

Last week, Proskauer prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of our client, Stuart Harrow, in an appeal that determined that the statutory deadlines for appealing administrative decisions are not automatically jurisdictional and do not prevent claims challenging a furlough from being heard in the Federal Circuit. Following a furlough in 2013, Department of Defense employee Stuart Harrow appealed to the Merits Systems Protection Board (MSPB), an independent agency established to adjudicate federal employment disputes, for a hardship exemption. He argued that he was prevented from finding other work due to a discontinuous six-day furlough and, as a result, should receive lost pay. After waiting several years for a decision, during which time the MSPB lost its quorum and temporarily stopped deciding cases, Mr. Harrow’s claim was eventually denied. Even then, it took some time for Mr. Harrow to learn of this decision, as it was sent to a DOD email address that had been deactivated.