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MSPB reversed VA removal for medical inability

Appellant v. U.S. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs

We represented an employee who worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as a Psychology Technician.  The VA removed her for medical inability to perform her duties.  The employee retained us to represent her in an appeal before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).  We argued that the VA violated the Rehabilitation Act and discriminated against our client by failing to reassign her.  The VA claimed that, due to her disability, our client could not have performed the duties of any vacant position.  However, we uncovered evidence during discovery that the VA never conducted a reassignment search.

The MSPB judge agreed with our arguments and evidence.  He found that the VA failed to engage in a good faith effort to provide reasonable accommodations, and that our client established that she could have performed vacant positions.  Accordingly, the judge concluded that the VA discriminated against our client based on her disability, and he reversed the removal.  The judge ordered the VA to reinstate our client to a vacant position, with back pay and other damages.

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