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Wong v. U.S. Department of Agriculture

Merit Systems Protection Board, Docket Number SF-072-0382-I-1, November 22, 2017

MSPB Judge Holly Parks reversed the agency’s decision to remove our client based on medical inability to perform following a hearing. Our client had been placed on a 12 month travel restriction by his physician. Although the judge found that traveling was an essential function of our client’s job, she determined that the penalty of removal “exceeded the tolerable limits of reasonableness” and rescinded the removal and reinstated our client with back pay and benefits. The judge noted that the 12 month travel restriction was set to expire 2 ½ months after the agency issued its removal decision. She held that it was unreasonable for the agency to remove our client before it could determine, in 2 ½ months’ time, if he could return to the full range of duties, as waiting another 2 ½ months was not placing a an undue strain on the agency.

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