Federal Employee Representation

While federal employees face certain restrictions in the workplace, such as limits on political speech under the Hatch Act, they enjoy many of the same Constitutional and statutory protections as private sector employees. The difference is that private sector employees can freely use the civil court system to enforce their rights, but federal employees must first seek redress through the complex system of administrative hearings and appeals. Only after going through this exhaustive process can a federal employee file a civil lawsuit.

Experienced federal employment attorney supports victimized workers

At JOEL J. KIRKPATRICK, P.C., we have extensive experience filing claims and appeals with the MERIT SYSTEM PROTECTION BOARD (MSPB), the EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION (EEOC), and U.S. District Court, Federal Appellate Practice. We represent clients with claims of:

  • Discipline/Misconduct
  • Discrimination
  • Erroneous/unfair discipline
  • Denial of federally-mandated workplace accommodations
  • Retaliation for whistle-blowing
  • Criminal defense for allegations of criminal misconduct
  • Civil defense for Bivens Actions

We know how the system works, we know what language needs to be included in a written complaint and we get results for our clients. If you are a federal employee, it is imperative that you retain skilled counsel who knows the administrative process.

Federal Law Enforcement Agency Discipline Defense

At JOEL J. KIRKPATRICK, P.C., a great deal of our practice is dedicated to defending federal agents of bureaus with law enforcement duties. Often, our clients have been accused of some breach of protocol at a moment of high tension. Not only are they certain of the legality of their actions, but the emotion of the moment still hasn’t left them. They also tend to have a low estimation of agents who work for Internal Affairs. These factors can fool them into thinking that just any attorney the agency appoints can represent them or, worse yet, that they can “go it alone.” The reality of the situation is that law enforcement discipline can become wildly politicized quickly, and what may have seemed like a clear-cut case of justifiable force can quickly transform into a show trial. Under those circumstances, you need a skilled attorney protecting your interests and controlling public perception. You also have a tight time frame and cannot rely on a lawyer who needs to “get up to speed.” Finally, there is is always the chance that an internal investigation will turn into a criminal prosecution. At that point, you need a top-notch attorney, and your agency will not provide or pay for one. At Joel J. Kirkpatrick, P.C., our experience in law enforcement defense allows us to hit the ground running, presenting you with a vigorous defense from the moment you receive a proposed penalty for action. We stay with you through every step of the procedure.

Hearings and appeals before the Merit System Protection Board

The MSPB has original jurisdiction over certain disciplinary actions brought by the Special Counsel, especially for HATCH ACT violations. But the bulk of its work is processing appeals from approximately two million federal employees who have the right of appeal to the Board. We’ve assisted many clients who’ve appealed agency adverse actions before the MSPB. These include:

  • Removal
  • Suspension of more than 14 days
  • Reduction in grade or pay
  • Furlough of 30 days or less
  • OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT (OPM) retirement determinations
  • Denials of within-grade salary increase
  • Reduction-in-force action
  • OPM suitability determination
  • OPM employment practices
  • development and use of examinations
  • qualification standards, tests and other measurement instruments
  • Denial of restoration of reemployment rights
  • Termination of probationary employee

If you have a hearing or appeal scheduled with the MSPB, you have a great deal riding on the outcome. You need an attorney who is intimately familiar with the Board, its procedures and its criteria for decisions. At Joel J. Kirkpatrick, P.C. we work diligently to make your best case and obtain your best possible result.

Contact a leading advocate for federal employees nationwide

To schedule an appointment with Joel J. Kirkpatrick, P.C., call us at 734.335.0925 or CONTACT OUR OFFICE ONLINE. Though we are admitted to practice in Ohio and Michigan, we protect federal employees anywhere in the country.