Supreme Court Plants Roadblock For Federal Employees Bringing Employment Claims

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Representing a victory for the federal government, the U. S. Supreme Court held today that federal employees do not have a right to challenge their terminations from employment in federal district court on constitutional grounds. The ruling reinforces the statutory scheme of the Civil Service Reform Act, which establishes the Merit Systems Protections Board (MSPB), an administrative agency governing federal employment disputes. Elgin v. Dept. of Treasury

The decision is significant because it reinforces the exclusivity of the MSPB as the exclusive remedy for employee challenges to terminations, subject to appellate review in federal court. Moreover, it is a significant departure from the previous legal principle that administrative agencies do not have the authority to rule on the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress.

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