Scheme Nickname: 
Foreign Service Grievance Board

Informal proceedings specified by statute (i.e., Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended) that provides foreign service officers and employees a forum for consideration and resolution of covered employment-related grievances against a foreign affairs agency. (See 22 CFR pt. 16; 3 Foreign Affairs Manual 4400 - Foreign Service Grievance System). For purposes of this grievance process, the foreign affairs agencies are: Departments of State, Commerce, and Agriculture; U.S. Information Agency (USIA); and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 
The Board is the sole, independent grievance appeals forum of the Foreign Service. The majority of cases before the Board are appeals from agency grievance decisions. Although grievances come to the Board as appeals, the Board considers the evidence de novo. If the grievant's claim is deemed meritorious, the Board has authority to order various types of relief, including: correction of personnel records, reversal of decision by agency denying compensation, reinstatement with back pay, and payment of attorney's fees. However, certain matters are reserved by regulation for agency heads: promotion, tenure, assignments, and discipline. Consequently, if the Board finds that the case warrants any of these actions, it makes a recommendation to the head of the appropriate foreign affairs agency that employs the grievant. The agency head has 30 days to issue a written decision. The agency head may only reject the Board's recommendation unless he/she finds that doing so would be contrary to law, adversely affect the foreign policy of security of the United States, or substantially impair the efficiency of the foreign service. If the agency head rejects the Board's recommendation in whole or in part, the decision must state specifically the bases for such action. (22 CFR 16.13(d))
Types of Adjudication: 
Type B
Resources & Articles: 
FSGB 2013 Annual Report:
Distinctive Features: 
By statute (i.e., the Foreign Service Act of 1946, as amended), the members of the Board are "independent, distinguished citizens of the United States well know for their integrity" who are not current officers, employees or consultants of the covered foreign affairs agencies. As stated in the Board's 2013 Annual Report: "Members of the FSGB are selected from two groups. One is composed of experienced,dedicated retired Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) from the various foreign affairs agencies. The second group is comprised of attorneys, judges, and other legal professionals who have extensive experience in labor relations and employment matters. Historically, the Board has utilized three-member panels for deciding grievance appeals, including grievances involving hearings that are statutorily mandated to include three members. The panels are typically comprised of a presiding member selected from the labor law professionals and two members from the Foreign Service." (FSGB Annual Report, p. 2)
Other Comments: 
Grievants must exhaust administrative remedies within their respective employing agencies before filing a grievance with the FSGB.
Verified by Agency: 
Not verified
Is this a Major Adjudication: