MSPB to Hear Oral Arguments in NRP Appeals On December 13th

On Tuesday, December 13, 2011, MSPB will hear oral arguments in the matters of James C. Latham v. U.S. Postal Service, MSPB Docket Number DA-0353-10-0408-I-1; Ruby N. Turner v. U.S. Postal Service, MSPB Docket Number SF-0353-10-0329-I-1; Arleather Reaves v. U.S. Postal Service, MSPB Docket Number CH-0353-10-0823-I-1; Cynthia E. Lundy v. U.S. Postal Service, MSPB Docket Number AT-0353-11-0369-I-1; and Marcella Albright v. U.S. Postal Service, MSPB Docket Number DC-0752-11-0196-I-1 (Latham et al.).  The proceedings will take place 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.  See 76 FR 73691, November 29, 2011.

Latham et al. raise the following legal issues:  (1) May a denial of restoration be “arbitrary and capricious” within the meaning of 5 C.F.R. § 353.304(c) solely for being in violation of the U.S. Postal Service’s own internal rules; and (2) what is the extent of the agency’s restoration obligation under its own internal rules, i.e., under what circumstances do the agency’s rules require it to offer a given task to a given partially recovered employee as modified work?  The Board requested and received an advisory opinion from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in this matter.  See 5 U.S.C. § 1204(e)(1)(A).  The Board also invited and received amicus curiae briefs.  See 76 FR 44373, July 25, 2011.

The parties and the two amici curiae who asked to participate in oral argument will be allotted time to present oral argument in this matter.  The briefs submitted by the parties and the amici curiae, as well as OPM’s advisory opinion, are available for viewing on MSPB’s website at  The MSPB will also make a recording of the oral argument available on its website.  The public is welcome to attend this hearing for the sole purpose of observation.  Persons with disabilities who require reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should direct the request to the MSPB Director of Equal Employment Opportunity at (202) 254-4405 and V/TDD users should call via relay.  All requests should be made at least one week in advance.

This is the third time that MSPB has conducted an oral argument in the past 15 months after not hearing oral arguments for over 20 years.  The MSPB continues to utilize oral argument in appeals like Latham et al. that present issues of special significance because of their broad potential impact on the Federal civil service and merit systems.

The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is an independent, quasi‐judicial agency that protects Federal merit systems and the rights of individuals within those systems.  The MSPB also conducts studies of the civil service and other merit systems in the Executive Branch.

source: Merit System Protection Board

10 thoughts on “MSPB to Hear Oral Arguments in NRP Appeals On December 13th

  1. Why does the Postal Service get away the terrible treatment of their employees? I was excessed from clerk to carrier. Okay, I thought to myself, at least I still have a job. I then got hurt on the job. While I was off the job having surgery, the NRP team came to our station. A few of our carriers were sent home except the chosen ones( the supervisors favorites). When my doctor released me back to work, the supervisors sent me a letter that there wasn’t any work available within my restrictions. I could have done my carrier job, but because of the NRP, it didn’t matter, they weren’t allowing anyone with an injury come back. I could have done like a lot of workers, had my doctor bring me back to full duty, but I didn’t. I have been with the Postal Service for almost 20 years and have been a hard worker in both the clerk and carrier crafts. Not everyone that is/was on limited duty are scammers. We as coworkers should stick together and not add to the managements lists’ of supporters. I don’t knock those who did what they had to do to feed their families, and neither should you.

  2. Ellen, I enjoyed your post but was confused somewhat. The use of “there” was the confusing part. Keep in mind that “there”, “their” and “they’re” all are used in different situations. Sorry but it’s just a pet peeve of mine.

  3. I’ve seen plenty of limited duty employees over the years. You have to look at the bigger picture. We’re not all robots/machines. In this job, believe me, people tend to break down. Remember this, injuries can happen to anyone of us. Don’t point the finger at an injured employee because you never know when something could happen to you. It’s in the contract, for those who aren’t too familiar with it. It states the postal service is required to find available work for injured employees. ‘Nuff said.

  4. I had been working for 4hrs for almost 2yrs after having 3 surgeries in 1yr, 2 due to on the job injuries and the 3rd was an on the job injury but I decided to go through my insurance because I needed immediate attention and new Dept of Labor liked to drag their feet. Anyway the Dept of Labor doctor decided 2visits ago to up my work hrs to 6hrs which resulted in my contracting bi-lateral epicandilitis in my arms and my back is suffering again as well. I’m down to the 7th type of treatment available to me for my arms,(there are 8) and next week I go for an EMG for my back issues. My last visit with the Dept of Labor doctor left him lowering my hours back to 4hrs and genuinely feeling bad that I had to endure shots to both arms. Not all people are scammers I know others who’ve had less injuries than myself and they were given permenant disability all I can say is I pray I can make it to retirement which isn’t for another 8yrs! God be with me.

  5. Yes, There are scammers. But from what I’ve seen. There the so called sup. “favorites”. Not everyone is a scammer. They still harass the one’s who aren’t able to do what they used to do to injury. So the “buddys” that have nothing wrong with them can sit on there tails. That is very common. The only one’s I’ve seen to get real real limited or light duty are clerks. It’s also a favorites game. I see more that have the ability who won’t do the job scam more than the disabled ones. It’s all according if your supervisor likes you. And the sups. don’t give the one’s a hard time that tell them off or if there afraid of them. Which is ridiculous. Please don’t think all disabled people truly aren’t disabled. That’s wrong to make such judgements. Not everyone is a whiner and tells personal info. Not everyone is a scammer. That’s there fault for not checking up on fraudulant people. Mgmt. creates alot of this on there own. Favortism, hiring there relatives,etc. There attitudes create most of the problem workers. It’s sad. They don’t care if you starve. They just want you there to harass the crap out of you.

  6. Light duty and limited suty are two different things. Since Bonnie knows so much about her co workers she should know the difference…Light duty has nothing to do with the PO. You can only be on it a certain amout of time where as limited duty means an employee was hurt on the job or has an occupational disease caused from his or her job.

  7. I find that an accident or injury can happen to any one at any time while working. I was rear ended in my postal truck by a large truck and received some serious injuries which lead to me being out of work for almost 6 months. When I came back I was stuck right back into the thick of things and ended back in full scale physical therapy again. I took a long time getting back to where I could work my old job but luck had me back to it after many months. I feel bad for people who can’t get back to their old jobs, and their injuries are permanent. I feel even worse at the lack of compassion their fellow co-workers have for them. What are they suppose to do quit their jobs, starve? I know there are cases of fraud but not all of them are. I’m really dumbfounded at peoples attitudes towards these people.

  8. I see plenty of modified work at one NDC:

    Disabled fork lift driver was given the task of working a cull chute – loose mail.

    Disabled clerk sit down in a chair and turn magazines address up so that they can be scanned.

    I see people on light duty who as soon as they find out that they are getting another job, go to the doctor and get papers saying that they are now healed and no longer need the light duty.

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