Merit Systems Protection Board

  • 1615 M Street Northwest, Washington, DC, USA

U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board

Office of Appeals Counsel


To protect the merit system principles and promote an effective Federal workforce free of
prohibited personnel practices.


A highly qualified, diverse Federal workforce that is fairly and effectively managed, providing
excellent service to the American people.

Employment Information

The Office of Appeals Counsel of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board is currently hiring
attorneys in the area of Federal-sector employment law. Applicants are encouraged
to apply early to ensure full consideration. To apply for a position,
please submit your application via:

• The Merit Systems Protection Board is firmly committed to the principles of
diversity and inclusion in its workforce.

• The Merit Systems Protection Board fosters a work-life balance through various
workplace flexibilities, such as flexible schedules and telework.

What is the Merit Systems Protection Board?

The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (Board) is a quasi-judicial Executive
branch agency of the Federal Government which, acting much as a court, hears and
decides appeals from Federal employees concerning adverse actions based on misconduct
(removals, suspensions of more than 14 days, demotions in pay or grade, etc.),
performance-based actions, veterans’ preference rights in hiring, and reprisal for
whistleblowing. These cases often involve claims arising from various
anti-discrimination statutes (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, etc.).  Decisions of the Board are reviewable in the Federal courts.

What does the Office of Appeals Counsel do?

The Office of Appeals Counsel (OAC) is the largest single office at the Board. OAC
is central to the Board’s core mission of adjudicating disputes between employees and
Federal agencies arising under the civil service laws. OAC attorneys help ensure
that rules of merit, fairness, and equity prevail throughout the Federal civil

After an administrative judge in one of the Board’s regional offices issues an initial
decision, either the employee or the agency may appeal that decision by filing a petition for
review with the bipartisan, presidentially-appointed, Senate- confirmed, three-member Board.
The attorneys in OAC serve as the principal legal advisors to the Board members by
writing the recommended appellate-level decisions upon which the Board members vote. When
writing the recommended decisions, OAC attorneys consider the arguments raised by the parties on review, assess the case’s evidentiary record, and conduct thorough legal research of the
issues presented. OAC attorneys frequently handle cases involving novel issues of law,
and help shape precedent in that regard.

Where are OAC’s offices?

OAC is located at the Board’s Headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C., near the Farragut
North and Farragut West Metro Stations.