Synopsis By: Lurie - Proceeding Author: William Harness, Ira F. Jaffe, Jerry Lelchook

The participants describe the differences between the way discharge penalties are arrived at in the federal sector, and the way that arbitrators deal with them, as compared with private sector and state and local cases. In Douglas v. Veterans Administration, the MSPB stated that the MSPB sits as the final government employer decisionmaker on adverse action cases, applying the Douglas factors, determining the weight to be given each, and having the power to mitigate. The Supreme Court ruled, in Cornelius v. Nutt, that arbitrators are expected to utilize the same general legal principles and approaches used by the MSPB. Thus, arbitrators function as neutrals and outside adjudicators yet, in a legal sense, hear federal cases as the final governmental decisionmaker.