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Reddick v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

January 8, 2016

TIMOTHY REDDICK, Petitioner
v.
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION, Respondent

Petition for review of arbitration decision by Robert M. Hirsch No. H13-024.

PARAS NARESH SHAH, National Treasury Employees Union, Washington, DC, argued for petitioner. Also represented by GREGORY O'DUDEN, JULIE M. WILSON, LARRY JOSEPH ADKINS.

JAMES R. SWEET, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC, argued for respondent. Also represented by CLAUDIA BURKE, ROBERT E. KIRSCHMAN, JR., JOYCE R. BRANDA.

Before REYNA, SCHALL, and HUGHES, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Hughes, Circuit Judge.

Timothy Reddick served in a term appointment with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The FDIC offered to extend the term appointment, which Mr. Reddick accepted. Prior to the start of the extended portion of the term appointment, the FDIC revoked the already-accepted offer. The issue is whether the revocation constituted a " removal" under 5 U.S.C. § 7512. An arbitrator ruled in favor of the FDIC. We agree and dismiss the appeal. We hold that the extension offer was still revocable by the FDIC even after acceptance by Mr. Reddick. Therefore, the offer of extension never matured into an effective extension, so Mr. Reddick was not " removed" from that prospective extension.

I

Mr. Reddick was employed as an " Investigation Specialist" with the FDIC in an initial two-year term appointment. The initial term began in September 2010 and was set to expire in September 2012.

Before the expiration of the initial term, the FDIC offered Mr. Reddick an extension of the initial term for an additional two years. This extension term was set to begin in September 2012. The extension offer stated that the " extended employment" would be " effective [September], 2012" and that the " extended appointment is subject to the conditions of employment [included in the initial appointment offer] and subject to your continued successful performance." J.A. 31. The extension offer was made in April 2012, and Mr. Reddick accepted it several days after receipt.

For reasons not germane to this appeal, the FDIC revoked the extension offer in August 2012. As is evident, but nonetheless highlighted here for its significance, this revocation occurred after acceptance of the extension offer but prior to the beginning of the extension term. As a result, Mr. Reddick's employment with the FDIC ended when the initial term expired in September 2012.

Mr. Reddick filed a grievance with the FDIC on the theory that the revocation of the extension offer was an adverse action under 5 U.S.C. § 7512. If Mr. Reddick's allegation were true, then he would have been entitled to the procedural protections of 5 U.S.C. § 7513, which the FDIC did not provide him. But the FDIC disagreed with Mr. Reddick, and the matter was referred to arbitration under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

The arbitrator found the revocation justified and entered disposition for the FDIC. The arbitrator found the extension offer to be conditional in nature, namely, conditioned on Mr. Reddick's " satisfactory work performance." J.A. 18-19. And, the arbitrator found Mr. Reddick's allegedly improper conduct--which led to the revocation but is not at issue in this appeal--to be " highly questionable behavior" and sufficient justification for the FDIC's decision to end its relationship with Mr. Reddick. Id. at 19-20. Because the extension offer was conditioned on satisfactory performance and Mr. Reddick had not so performed, the arbitrator found the revocation justified and thereby denied Mr. Reddick's grievance.

Mr. Reddick appeals to ...


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