This morning the Federal Circuit issued two nonprecedential opinions in Merit Systems Protection Board cases. Here are the introductions to the opinions.
Hernandez v. Department of Defense (Nonprecedential)
The Merit Systems Protection Board affirmed the Department of Defense Education Activity’s decision to remove pro se appellant M. Shane Hernandez from his position. Mr. Hernandez appeals the Board’s final decision, arguing that he was improperly removed. Because we find no error in the Board’s decision, we affirm.
Kuriakose v. Department of Veterans Affairs (Nonprecedential)
This appeal comes to us from the Merit Systems Protection Board. Appellant Jean Kuriakose worked as a part-time radiologist at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Health Care System in Ann Arbor, Michigan. According to her allegations at the Board, on December 6, 2013, she was sexually assaulted by a co-worker—who, the Board subsequently found, was placed on leave by the VA as soon as the incident was reported and whose employment was terminated shortly thereafter. In December 2014, Dr. Kuriakose resigned from her position at the VA. In 2017, after exhausting administrative remedies, she sought corrective action from the Board under the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, 5 U.S.C. § 2303 et seq. (WPA), based on allegations that she had made certain protected disclosures to her supervisors and been subjected to several adverse personnel actions by the VA as a result. The Board rejected Dr. Kuriakose’s request for corrective action, finding that Dr. Kuriakose had made one protected disclosure that resulted in an adverse personnel action, but that the VA proved that it would have taken that personnel action regardless of Dr. Kuriakose’s protected disclosure. Because we find no reversible error, we affirm.