By John V. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.com
Our firm represents federal employees before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), www.mspb.gov in the appeals process. Many federal employees, especially if they have been removed, consider resolving their appeal by seeking an agreement with their federal agency to clear their employment record. This type of agreement can include what is known as a clean record settlement. There are a number of ways in which a settlement agreement with a federal agency can help to clear a federal employee’s record for future employability.
What is a Clean Record Settlement?
A clean record settlement is simply the notion that an employment action that was taken against the federal employee is cleared from their employment files (e.g. Official Personnel File (OPF)) by agreement. This is accomplished through a negotiated settlement agreement between the federal agency and the federal employee involved in an MSPB appeal. The goal in a clean record agreement is to eliminate or minimize the negative employment information which can affect the individual’s future employment in the federal or private sector.
Types of Clean Record Settlement Provisions
There are a number of different types of settlement provisions that can be considered clean record agreements. Some settlement provisions fully rescind a proposed removal action or previously made decision (e.g. a removal decision) from OPFs or other employment files, while other types of agreements specify the type of information that will be disclosed by an agency when contacted by another employer. Other provisions do not rescind documentation issued, but agree to change the Form SF-50 documentation that was issued in the OPF.
In many clean record settlements a contact point at the agency is designated by parties to handle inquiries about the former federal employee. With other provisions, certain employees are directed to not talk negatively of a former federal employee. Some provisions also specify that all records pertaining to a removal action (i.e. witness statements, etc.) will be destroyed and remove from agency files. Other provisions may include agency acceptance of a retroactive letter of resignation explaining the personal reasons for the voluntary resignation.
In all, there are many different types of settlement provisions which can provide improved employability if resolved during the MSPB process. For a far more detailed discussion of the MSPB clean record process, the MSPB, in 2013, issued guidance in a report.
In sum, for some federal employees a clean record settlement is important in order to resolve an MSPB appeal. Our law firm represents federal employees before the MSPB and can be contacted at www.berrylegal.com or by telephone at (703) 668-0070. Our Facebook page is located at https://www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc