Appeals court removes key civil service protection

AP News
Posted: Aug 22, 2012 2:37 AM
Appeals court removes key civil service protection

WASHINGTON (AP) — Advocates for federal workers say a court ruling that has taken key civil service protection away from government employees involved in national security work will have far-reaching implications.

An official at the Government Accountability Project says the ruling gives agencies "a blank check to cancel all government accountability in civil service law."

In a 2-1 decision Friday involving two Defense Department employees, a federal appeals court said the Merit Systems Protection Board may not review dismissals and demotions of government employees who hold "noncritical sensitive" positions, regardless of whether those jobs require access to classified information.

The dissenting judge in the case said the decision "effectively nullifies" a 1978 civil service law. Advocates for federal workers note there are "noncritical sensitive" jobs throughout the government.

The Pentagon welcomed the decision.