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MSPB reversed USDA’s removal for medical inability

Appellant v. U.S. Dep’t of Agriculture

We represented an employee who worked for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) as an Executive Protection Agent. The USDA removed him for medical inability to perform his duties following a negative fitness for duty evaluation. The employee retained us to represent him in an appeal before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). We argued that the fitness for duty evaluation was invalid because it did not make any medical conclusions, but rather, adopted the Agency’s factual observations of Appellant’s conduct.

The MSPB judge agreed with our arguments and evidence. He found that the USDA did not have sufficient evidence to prove that our client had a disqualifying medical condition that prevented him from performing his job. The judge ordered the Agency to reinstate our client to his former position with attorney’s fees, back pay, and interest. The judge also found that the agency discriminated against our client based on a perceived disability, which he did not have, allowing him to recover additional damages for pain and suffering.

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