In determining the reasonableness of the penalties issued by the federal agency, the Merit Systems Protection Board's (MSPB) penalty analysis will be governed by Douglas v.Veterans Administration. In Douglas the MSPB held that twelve (12) factors (“Douglas factors”) must be considered when evaluating possible penalties for disciplinary cases involving federal employees. The twelve (12) Douglas Factors are listed below in a condensed format. (Please note: This is not an all-inclusive list. Refer to the MSPB website for a more detailed description of the factors.)
To learn more, read our Douglas Factors blog post.
It is important that the federal supervisor ensures that the penalty is fair and reasonable. If a penalty is disproportionate to the alleged violation or is unreasonable under Douglas, it is subject to being reduced or reversed by the MSPB, even if the charges would otherwise be sustained.
The federal employee attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. have expertise in litigating MSPB penalties issued against federal employees, and are willing and able to assist you with your legal needs. Call or message us today to discuss your situation and learn how we can assist you.
 5 M.S.P.R. 280,305-06 (1981).